Self pollination and resource availability affect ovule abortion inCassia fasciculata (Caesalpiniaceae).

Academic Article


  • We examined the effects of pollen source and resource availability on ovule abortion in the annual legumeCassia fasciculata. Pollen source was controlled by hand-pollinating flowers with cross- or self-pollen. Resource availability to developing fruits was controlled by adjusting fruit loads (heavy versus light) on each plant and exposing plants to different photoperiod cycles (16 vs 12 h of light; short days favor fruit growth at the expense of vegetative growth). In mature fruits the proportion of ovules expanding (showing some development over virgin ovules) ranged from 89-95% and did not increase with resource availability, suggesting that unexpanded ovules were either unfertilized or obligately aborted shortly after fertilization. The proportion of expanded ovules maturing in mature fruits was near 97% for both self- and crosspollinations in the treatment with highest resource availability (light load, short days) and lower in the remaining treatments, where self-pollination resulted in up to 9% lower seed maturation than cross-pollination. In the latter three treatments a pollen source effect was dependent upon the maternal plant; in some plants selfing increased abortion and in others it did not. Collectively, the results suggest that (1) both pollen source and resource availability affect ovule abortion, (2) at least some abortion is facultative, and (3) when resources are limited, self-pollination increases abortion in some but not all maternal plants.
  • Authors

  • Martin, Mary
  • Lee, TD
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • July 1993
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

  • Oecologia  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Cassia fasciculata
  • Ovule abortion
  • Pollination
  • Resources
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28313990
  • Start Page

  • 503
  • End Page

  • 509
  • Volume

  • 94
  • Issue

  • 4