Morphological variation in fruits and seeds of Ceiba aesculifolia and its relationship with germination and seedlings biomass

Noé Velázquez-Rosas, Betsabé Ruiz-Guerra, Maria Esther Sánchez-Coronado, Alicia Gamboa-de Buen, Alma Orozco-Segovia

Abstract


Background Morphologic variation in fruits and seeds affects the performance and adaptation of plants. Only a few studies have integrally analyzed these variables and their effects in plant germination and early growth in tropical dry forest (TDF).

Questions Do the size and shape of fruits influence the number and mass of seeds? Is there a positive relation between seed traits, germination and seedling growth?

Species studied Ceiba aesculifolia.

Study site A TDF growing in a lava field in Actopan, Veracruz:

Methods The fruits of 35 individuals of one population were classified into three size categories (small, medium and large), from which fresh fruit mass and length, number and mass of seeds, and seed lipid and water content were determined. In addition, lag time, germination rate (velocity) and percentage, and seedling biomass were assessed.

Results Fruit mass was positively related to seed mass, but fruit weight was negatively related to number of seeds. Larger seeds had higher lipid and water content. No differences were registered in lag time or final germination percentage. Heavier seeds produced seedlings with higher biomass.

ConclusionsThe number and size of seeds in fruits may determine differential capabilities for seedling establishment.

Keywords


dry forest; Ceiba aesculifolia; germination; fruit size; seedling size

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17129/botsci.636

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ISSN: 2007-4476
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