The success of an animal or plant is determined by how many offspring it produces. But in some cases, not all offspring are created equal. In the February edition of Field Talk, Jaboury Ghazoul of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, describes how some species of trees invest resources in seeds that cannot produce viable offspring. His paper in the February issue of Ecology shows that when seed predators are abundant, investment in decoy seeds – or “sacrificial siblings” – can increase a plant’s chances of producing successful progeny.
Ecology 2009 90:2, 369-377