We conducted a controlled crossing experiment to examine the effects of maternal and paternal parentage, the size of the pollen load, and prior fruit production on the proportion of flowers that set fruit, seed number per fruit and seed weight in a natural population of Campanula americana. Effects due to the maternal parent were large for all measures of fruit and seed production, while the paternal parent had a significant effect only upon mean seed weight. As the number of prior fruits on the maternal plant increased the probability that a flower would produce a mature fruit, the number of seeds per fruit, and total seed weight per fruit all decreased. We found no effect of the size of the pollen loads used in this study on fruit or seed production. These results are consistent with those of other studies that suggest in natural plant populations maternal effects, especially environmental maternal effects, can have an overwhelming effect on fruit and seed production and on seed characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics