Seed abortion in wind-dispersed pods of Dalbergia sissoo: maternal regulation or sibling rivalry?

Ganeshaiah, K. N. ; Uma Shaanker, R. (1988) Seed abortion in wind-dispersed pods of Dalbergia sissoo: maternal regulation or sibling rivalry? Oecologia, 77 (1). pp. 135-139. ISSN 0029-8549

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Dalbergia sissoo, a wind-dispersed tropical tree, shows a positively skewed distribution of seeds per pod. This is attributed to the enhanced dispersal advantage of few-seeded pods due to their reduced wing loading (ratio of weight to pod surface area) and low settling velocity. The proximate mechanisms causing the positively skewed distribution were investigated. The distribution could not be attributed to the distribution pattern of ovule number per ovary, pollen grain limitation, lack of ovule fertilization, or post-fertilization elimination of many-seeded pods. Rather, it was caused by the post-fertilization abortion of seeds within a pod 2 weeks after fertilization. This intra-pod seed abortion (IPSA) is due to a dominance hierarchy of fertilized ovules from the distal (near stigma) to the basal end, generated by the temporal differences in fertilization. The dominant developing seeds at the distal end cause the abortion of others through the production and diffusion of an aborting agent. When the dominance hierarchy of the siblings is not intense, pods are formed with more than one seed. We argue that the positively skewed distribution of seeds per pod is not due to maternal regulation but is a result of sibling rivalry. We propose that this sibling rivalry is generated by genetic differences in pollen grain fitness and disucss the results in the context of parent-offspring conflict.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Springer-Verlag.
Keywords:Dalbergia; Positively Skewed Seed Distribution; Wind Dispersal; Seed Abortion; Sibling Rivalry; Parent-Offpring Conflict
ID Code:13191
Deposited On:11 Nov 2010 06:36
Last Modified:31 May 2011 11:59

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