An allometric model for seed plant reproduction

  • Niklas K
  • Enquist B
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An allometric framework is used to construct a model for seed plant annual reproductive biomass based on standing leaf, stem and root biomass. According to this model, the scaling of reproduction is governed by numerous taxon-specific scaling exponents and constants that reflect the allometry of vegetative biomass partitioning. Although this allometry cannot be predicted a priori, the model accurately predicts all observed inter- and intraspecific repro- ductive biomass trends based on the exponents and constants determined for a worldwide database representative of herbaceous and tree-sized dicot, monocot and conifer species grow- ing in diverse habitats. The model also identifies the body proportions for which reproduction is energetically untenable. The limits for seed plant reproductive biomass are thus established, providing a conceptual and quantitative basis for understanding the scaling of reproductive capacity across and within ecologically and evolutionarily diverse spermatophytes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Allometry
  • Plants
  • Reproductive biomass
  • Scaling
  • Vegetative biomass

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-2542454218
  • PMID: 934
  • SGR: 2542454218
  • ISBN: 1522-0613
  • ISSN: 15220613
  • PUI: 38681637


  • Karl J. Niklas

  • Brian J. Enquist

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