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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 610735, 7 pages
Research Article

Florivory Modulates the Seed Number-Seed Weight Relationship in Halenia elliptica (Gentianaceae)

1Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
2Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center, Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
3Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research at Kunming, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
4Engineering Research Center of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Biomass Energy Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Environment Biological Technology in Yunnan Province, School of Life Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
5Research Institute of Plateau Ecology, Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry College, Linzhi, Tibet 860000, China

Received 2 June 2015; Accepted 16 August 2015

Academic Editor: Aamir Nawaz

Copyright © 2015 Linlin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Generally, plant reproductive success might be affected negatively by florivory, and the effects may vary depending on the timing and intensity of florivory. To clarify the impacts of florivory by the sawfly larvae (Tenthredinidae) on seed production of Halenia elliptica D. Don, we simulated florivory by removing different proportion of flowers at three reproductive stages in this alpine herb and then examined the seed number per fruit, the seed weight, and the seed mass per fruit of the remaining flowers. Seed number per fruit reduced significantly when flowers were removed at flowering and fruiting stages or when 15% and 60% of flowers were removed. However, seed weight increased significantly after flowers were removed, independent of treatments of reproductive stage and proportion. There was a similar seed mass per fruit between the plants subjected to simulation of florivory and control. The results indicated that florivory modulated the seed number-seed weight relationship in this alpine species. Our study suggested that selective seed abortion and resource reallocation within fruits may ensure fewer but larger seeds, which were expected to be adaptive in the harsh environments.