Multiplicity in Unity: Plant Subindividual Variation and by Carlos M. Herrera

By Carlos M. Herrera

Plants produce a lot of constructions of 1 style, like leaves, flora, culmination, and seeds, and this reiteration is a necessary characteristic of the physique plan of upper crops. yet due to the fact now not all buildings of a similar variety produced through a plant are identical—for example, diversified branches on a plant will be male or girl, leaf sizes within the sunlight fluctuate from these within the colour, and fruit sizes can range looking on styles of physiological allocation between branches—a unmarried plant genotype often produces a multiplicity of phenotypic models of an analogous organ. 


Multiplicity in solidarity uses this subindividual version to deepen our knowing of the ecological and evolutionary components excited about plant-animal interactions. On one hand, phenotypic edition on the subindividual scale has various ecological implications for animals that devour crops. however, by means of selecting which vegetation to eat, those animals may perhaps constrain or alter plant ontogenetic styles, developmental balance, and the level to which possible phenotypic editions are expressed by way of contributors.


An cutting edge learn of the ecology, morphology, and evolution of modular organisms, Multiplicity in solidarity addresses a subject matter relevant to our realizing of the variety of existence and the ways that organisms have coevolved to deal with variable environments.

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Venable and Levin 1985; Tanowitz et al. 1987). In the Balearic Islands, single plants of the endemic dwarf shrub Thymelaea velutina produce dry fruits (achenes) lacking any special dispersal mechanism along with fleshy fruits (drupes) that are eaten by small lizards, which act as the dispersal agents of the enclosed seeds (Tébar and Llorens 1993; de la Bandera and Traveset 2006). In other cases, there is a smooth gradation of fruit types within the same infructescence, and fruit variation can be considered closer to, if not indistinguishable from, a continuous phenomenon, as in the case of Heterosperma pinnatum (fig.

The phenomenon is particularly frequent among gymnosperms, such as species of Juniperus (Fuentes and Schupp 1998; García et al. 2000), but it occurs also in angiosperms, such as wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa, Zangerl et al. 1991) and species of Pistacia (Zohary 1952; Jordano 1988; Traveset 1993) and Ulmus (López-Almansa and Gil 2003). In some species, multiseeded drupes commonly contain a mixture of filled seeds along with one or a few parthenocarpic “seeds,” the two types being externally indistinguishable (Ilex aquifolium, Obeso 1996; Crataegus laciniata, C.

1986). In these intraspecific contexts, measurements of soluble-solid content obtained from refractometer readings closely reflect variations in sugar and carboxylic acids content (Gurrieri et al. 2001), and are included among target variables in selective breeding programs (Yamada et al. 1997; Rodríguez-Burruezo et al. 2002, 2003). Very Fine-Grained Variation As noted earlier for leaves and flowers, a very fine-grained level of withinfruit variation in chemical characteristics has sometimes been reported.

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