Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (4): 366-374.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00033

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of resource allocation and floral traits on the number and mass of Saussurea undulata seeds from different elevations in eastern Qinghai-Xizang Plateau

WANG Yi-Feng* and YUE Yong-Cheng   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2013-11-11 Revised:2014-02-14 Online:2014-04-08 Published:2014-04-01
  • Contact: WANG Yi-Feng


Aims This paper studies the resource allocation during flowering and fruiting, as well as the relationship between variations in floral traits and seed characters in Saussurea undulata.
Methods Field sampling and measurements of dry mass were used to evaluate morphological characteristics of S. undulata distributed at different elevations in eastern Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.
Important findings Saussurea undulata invested more resources in the reproductive organs during flowering, whereas it invested more resources in seed during fruiting. The variations in floral traits during flowering led to a decline in seed number and an increase in 100-seed mass in S. undulate during fruiting with increasing elevation, because the species adopted survival strategies that produce less but larger seed to ensure survival of each seed under the extreme environment of alpine meadow in eastern Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.

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