Plant growth rates and seed size:a re-evaluation

Turnbull, Lindsay A. and Philipson, Christopher D. and Purves, Drew W. and Atkinson, Rebecca L. and Cunniff, Jennifer and Goodenough, Anne and Hautier, Yann and Houghton, Jennie and Marthews, Toby R. and Osborne, Colin P. and Paul-Victor, Cloé and Rose, Karen E. and Saner, Philippe and Taylor, Samuel H. and Woodward, F. Ian and Hector, Andy and Rees, Mark (2012) Plant growth rates and seed size:a re-evaluation. Ecology, 93 (6). pp. 1283-1289. ISSN 0012-9658

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Small-seeded plant species are often reported to have high relative growth rate or RGR. However, because RGR declines as plants grow larger, small-seeded species could achieve higher RGR simply by virtue of their small size. In contrast, size-standardized growth rate or SGR factors out these size effects. Differences in SGR can thus only be due to differences in morphology, allocation, or physiology. We used nonlinear regression to calculate SGR for comparison with RGR for 10 groups of species spanning a wide range of life forms. We found that RGR was negatively correlated with seed mass in nearly all groups, but the relationship between SGR and seed mass was highly variable. We conclude that smallseeded species only sometimes possess additional adaptations for rapid growth over and above their general size advantage.

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27 Feb 2017 15:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 04:26