Climatic determinants of acorn size and germination percentage of Quercus rugosa (Fagaceae) along a latitudinal gradient in Mexico

  • Jesús Llanderal-Mendoza Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Paul F. Gugger University of California Los Angeles
  • Ken Oyama Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Dolores Uribe-Salas Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
  • Antonio González Rodríguez Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
keywords: acorn size, climate factors, geographical variation, latitudinal distribution, Quercus

Abstract

Background. Abiotic constraints, historical effects of the last glaciation, and differential dispersal, have been proposed as potential explanations to account for the latitudinal decrease in acorn size of wide-ranging oak species distributed in the U.S. and Canada.

Hypothesis. We specifically tested the abiotic constraints hypothesis on oak acorn size in a geographical area without the counfounding influence of glaciation and related dispersal history.

Data description. Acorns from seven populations of the white oak Quercus rugosa were collected, encompassing the distribution of the species in Mexico.

Study site and years of study. Mexico, 2009-2010.

Results. Acorn length, width, mass and volume differed significantly among populations and indicated a marked clinal latitudinal reduction in acorn size. A multiple regression model revealed that this reduction in size (measured as acorn volume) can be explained by two important bioclimatic variables (growing season precipitation and growing season degree-days above 5 °C), while spatial variables (latitude and longitude) are not significant. Furthermore, germination percentage was significantly correlated to acorn mass and volume.

Conclusions. The main determinants of the latitudinal decline in acorn size are climate factors constraining seed development. This decline is maladaptive for seedling establishment, with important implications for the delination of northern limits of species ranges.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Jesús Llanderal-Mendoza, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad

Estudiante de doctorado

Paul F. Gugger, University of California Los Angeles

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Assistant Researcher

Ken Oyama, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Morelia

Director

Dolores Uribe-Salas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales
Antonio González Rodríguez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Instituto deInvestigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad

Investigador Titular B de T.C.

Climatic determinants of acorn size and germination percentage of <em>Quercus rugosa</em> (Fagaceae) along a latitudinal gradient in Mexico
Published
2017-03-18
How to Cite
Llanderal-Mendoza, J., Gugger, P. F., Oyama, K., Uribe-Salas, D., & González Rodríguez, A. (2017). Climatic determinants of acorn size and germination percentage of Quercus rugosa (Fagaceae) along a latitudinal gradient in Mexico. Botanical Sciences, 95(1), 37-45. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.640
Section
ECOLOGY / ECOLOGÍA