The evolutionary ecology of seed heteromorphism.

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288 Scopus citations


Heteromorphism is promoted over monomorphism by low correlation of the demographic success of the different morphs and high temporal variation in seed success. Available experimental data from 2 heteromorphic-seeded species satisfy the model conditions for heteromorphism and produce morph proportions similar to those predicted. Seed heteromorphism can arise when the evolution of morph behavior is constrained by a single concave fitness set or when different seeds on the same individual plant are constrained by different convex fitness sets. The fitness sets represent constraints on demographic success in different year types (trade-offs resulting from constraints in design, development, physiology, or genetics). Two kinds of heteromorphism may arise when the constraints differ for different seeds on the same plant. Whether high-risk-low-risk heteromorphism or high-risk-high-risk heteromorphism evolves depends on the similarity of the evolutionary constraints. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-595
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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