Factors that shape seed mass evolution

Angela T. Moles*, David D. Ackerly, Campbell O. Webb, John C. Tweddle, John B. Dickie, Andy J. Pitman, Mark Westoby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

274 Citations (Scopus)


We used correlated divergence analysis to determine which factors have been most closely associated with changes in seed mass during seed plant evolution. We found that divergences in seed mass have been more consistently associated with divergences in growth form than with divergences in any other variable. This finding is consistent with the strong relationship between seed mass and growth form across present-day species and with the available data from the paleobotanical literature. Divergences in seed mass have also been associated with divergences in latitude, net primary productivity, temperature, precipitation, and leaf area index. However, these environmental variables had much less explanatory power than did plant traits such as seed dispersal syndrome and plant growth form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10540-10544
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2005


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