Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds

Citation

Fricke, Evan C.; Wright, S. Joseph (2017), Data from: The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.90f03

Abstract

Seed size and toughness affect seed predators, and size-dependent investment in mechanical defence could affect relationships between seed size and predation. We tested how seed toughness and mechanical defence traits (tissue density and protective tissue content) are related to seed size among tropical forest species. Absolute toughness increased with seed size. However, smaller seeds had higher specific toughness both within and among species, with the smallest seeds requiring over 2000 times more energy per gram to break than the largest seeds. Investment in mechanical defence traits varied widely but independently of the toughness-mass allometry. Instead, a physical scaling relationship confers a toughness advantage on small seeds independent of selection on defence traits and without a direct cost. This scaling relationship may contribute to seed size diversity by decreasing fitness differences among large and small seeds. Allometric scaling of toughness reconciles predictions and conflicting empirical relationships between seed size and predation.

Usage Notes

References

Location

Barro Colorado Island
Panama