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  • AID0000600400
  • DOI10.1007/s11258-010-9763-4

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Trade-offs between flowering time, plant height, and seed size within and across 11 communities of a QingHai-Tibetan flora

Plant Ecology
Plant Ecology
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Springer Science+Business Media

, 2010. V. 209. No. 2. P. 321–333
Flowering timing is of fundamental biological importance for its tight association with pre-flower growth states and subsequent reproduction success. Here, we selected plant height and seed size to represent plant growth and reproduction states, respectively, and analyzed their associations with flowering time in 11 communities together representing a QingHai-Tibetan flora. Trait associations were examined using Pearson correlation analyses (TIPs) and phylogenetically independent contrasts (PICs) within individual communities and meta-analyses across all communities. The results of TIPs-based and PICs-based analyses were generally congruent, although fewer contrasts were significant with PICs, probably because of low statistical power. Overall, flowering time was negatively correlated with seed size and plant height (i.e., plants with larger seeds and stature started flowering earlier) in various woody communities, but correlations were neutral or positive in herbaceous communities. The seed size–flowering time relationship was negative for woody and herbaceous perennials but not for annual herbs in most communities. The relationship between plant height and flowering time was negative for woody but positive for herbaceous plants. Moreover, the lack of difference in time–size relationships between anemophilous and entomophilous plants suggests that pollination type may only be a secondary force in controlling flowering phenology. Our studies demonstrate that environmental conditions, community structure, and plant life history strategies may affect community flowering time singly or in combination.

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