Wind dispersal of fruits with variable seed number in a tropical tree ( Lonchocarpus pentaphyllus: Leguminosae).

C. K. Augspurger, K. P. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lonchocarpus pentaphyllus matures indehiscent wind-dispersed fruits containing 0-4 seeds. Most fruits are 1-seeded (82%) while <2% are 3-seeded. An increase in seed number per fruit correlates with increases in 4 characteristics expected to affect dispersal distance under field conditions: fruit weight, fruit area, square root of wing-loading, and rate of descent in still air. The dry weight of a seed decreases with an increase in seed number per fruit. Under field conditions nearly 40% of the mature fruits fall within the radius of the tree crown. Fruits with more intact seeds are dispersed shorter distances; fruits with no developed seeds travel the farthest. Among 1-seeded fruits dispersed beyong the crown radius, dispersal distance is inversely proportional to the square root of wing-loading. The weight of seed in 1-seeded fruits, however, is independent of dispersal distance. Fruits with more seeds have a higher proportion of underdeveloped seeds. A greater proportion of 2- and 3-seeded fruits have at least one intact mature seed than do 1-seeded fruits. A decrease in seed number per fruit thus increases both seed weight and dispersal distance, but decreases the probability that a given dispersal event results in movement of an intact seed. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1037
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of botany
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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