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Variation in fruit size and susceptibility to seed predation among and within populations of the cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L



Variation in fruit size and susceptibility to seed predation among and within populations of the cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L



Oecologia (Berlin): 462: 217-222



Burr size is the major factor affecting variation in the intensity of predation by 2 spp. of insect [Euaresta aequalis, Phaneta imbridana] on the seeds of the cocklebur, X. strumarium. Mean burr size varied among 10 adjacent local populations studied over 3 yr, as did intensity of seed predation. Seed predation was more intense in populations with low mean burr length and declined linearly with increasing burr length under field and experimental conditions. Seed predation thus is a selective factor influencing the evolution of both burr size and correlated protective characteristics such as burr spine length and wall thickness. As in some other plants, morphological rather than chemical features appear to pose the major barrier to attack by host-specific seed predators. The advantage of more highly developed tissues protecting seeds may occur at the expense of total seed production.

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Accession: 001030377

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DOI: 10.1007/bf00540129


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Variation in fruit size and susceptibility to seed predation among and within populations of the cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L. Oecologia 46(2): 217-222, 1980

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