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Effects of ovule position on seed maturation and seed weight in Ulex europaeus and U. gallii (Fabaceae).

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1996
<mark>Journal</mark>Canadian Journal of Botany
Issue number6
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)848-853
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We examined the effect of ovule position within the pod on the probability of seed maturation and on seed weight in two woody legumes, Ulex europaeus and Ulex gallii. Results showed that ovule position had a significant effect on the probability of seed maturation in both species. Ovules in a central position were found to have a higher probability of maturation in U. europaeus, whereas those in a stylar position were favored in U. gallii. Ulex europaeus showed no effect of position on seed weight. The smallest seed within the pod was more frequently at stylar positions in U. gallii. These results might be explained by several non-exclusive hypotheses: time of fertilization, constraints on seed development (e.g., fruit shape and access to maternal resources), and genetic quality. The effects of seed weight on progeny performance estimated as probability of germination and seedling weight were tested in a laboratory experiment. Neither U. europaeus nor U. gallii exhibited any effect of seed weight on the probability of germination. However, seedling weight was dependent on seed weight in both species.