Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology (植物生态学报) 2012/36:8 PP.739-746
Aims Our objective was to investigate seed mass variation within species, genera and families, as well as its re-lationships with life form and plant phylogeny. Methods Seeds were collected at the Wanfoshan Natural Reservation Region from July to October 2011. Air-dried weight of 100 diaspores, including seeds and indehiscent and single-seeded fruit, was measured for each of three replicates. Seed mass variation and ecological significance were analyzed. Important findings Seed mass varied greatly from 10–3 g to 103 g. The seed mass distribution of various species was normal, as checked by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test. The mean weight of 1000 diaspores was 21.487 g. The seed mass of Momordica cochinchinensis (1775.192 g) and Aeginetia indica (0.006 g) were the heaviest and lightest, respectively. More than 60% of the species had a mean seed mass between 0.1 and 10.0 g. The seed mass of 105 species was < 1.0 g. There were significant differences of seed mass among 68 families and eight life forms, as determined by one-way analysis of variance (p < 0.001). Pearson’s relative analysis showed a negative relationship between seed mass and phylogeny (r = –0.079, p = 0.048) and a positive relationship between seed mass and life forms (r = 0.220, p < 0.001). A significant difference was also detected at the generic level (p < 0.001) in some families, including Compositae, Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Rosaceae.
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