Reproductive biology, ecological life history/demography and genetic diversity of the megagenus Astragalus (Fabaceae, Papilionoideae)

Elias Soltani, Fatemeh Benakashani, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Astragalus is the largest genus of seed plants; however, information on its reproductive biology and life history is widely scattered in the literature. About 96% of the species are perennials and 4% annuals; many are rare endemics. Astragalus species are obligate or facultative outcrossers, and inbreeding depression is higher in self-compatible (SC) than in self-incompatible (SI) species. The most frequent pollinators are Bombus, Osmia and Anthophora. On average, 48% of ovules produce seeds, and 40% of flowers produce fruits. Seed/ovule and fruit/flower ratios are lower in SC than in SI species. Predispersal insect seed predation ranges from 0 to 93%, and major predators are Acanthoscelides, Bruchophagus and Tychius. Seeds have physical dormancy and typically form a seed bank. C3 is the only photosynthetic pathway in the genus. Population growth may be cyclic or noncyclic, and genetic diversity of a taxon may or may not be related to size of geographic range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-106
Number of pages52
JournalBotanical Review
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The New York Botanical Garden.

Keywords

  • Breeding system
  • Inbreeding depression
  • Life cycle
  • Reproductive success
  • Soil seed bank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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