The scaling of seed size
Article first published online: 11 DEC 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Journal of Ecology
Volume 97, Issue 1, pages 27–31, January 2009
How to Cite
Venable, D. L. and Rees, M. (2009), The scaling of seed size. Journal of Ecology, 97: 27–31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01461.x
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 11 DEC 2008
- Received 12 June 2008; accepted 10 October 2008Handling Editor: Michael Hutchings
- adult body size;
- juvenile period;
- life-history theory;
- seed size
- 1Rees & Venable (2007; Journal of Ecology, 95, 926–936) critically evaluated ideas of Moles et al. to explain the cross-species positive correlation between offspring size and adult size, arguing that they had misinterpreted the theoretical literature, and used cross-species patterns to constrain the evolution of life-histories.
- 2In a reply to Rees & Venable, Westoby et al. (2009; Journal of Ecology, 97, 23–26) claimed we had misrepresented their views. Here we try to clarify the arguments indicating points of agreement and disagreement.
- 3Using simple models we then extend the current theory to allow (i) the time during which seedling survival is influenced by seed mass to scale with the duration of the juvenile period and (ii) the intensity of stress experienced by seedlings to scale with adult size. These new models predict that species with long juvenile periods or large adult size will have larger seeds.
- 4We synthesize the new theoretical ideas with our current understanding of the evolution of seed mass, and suggest that much of the observed increase in seed mass with adult body size may be due to constraints correlated with adult body size.