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.
Wang, L., Meng, L., & Luo, J. (2015). Florivory modulates the seed number-seed weight relationship in Halenia elliptica (Gentianaceae). Scientific World Journal, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/610735