Why do some fruits have only one seed?

socksOctober 11, 2010

I'm doing a seed activity with 2nd graders, and while I prepare, I was wondering why some fruits such as peaches, avocados, etc. have only one seed per fruit. It would seem "wiser" to have lots, like tomatoes do.


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lycopus(z5 NY)

Those seeds tend to be larger, so while they only invest in one seed per fruit that seed has a greater energy investment and is more likely to succeed. Small seeds will produce small seedlings that may have a harder time making it through the seedling stage, but if there are a lot of them only a small percentage need to survive.

Another factor that can influence seed size is the mode of dispersal. A fruit with large seeds might require a large animal to disperse them, whereas one with small seeds could easily pass through the gut of a bird or small mammal. If the seeds are very small they might be dispersed on the wind (like a milkweed) or if very large they might float on water (like a coconut).

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 5:47PM
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I see, thank you.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 9:54PM
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I think life cycle may also play a part--herbeous plants tend to have many seeds since they may have relatively few flowers, and their life span may be relatively brief, and the more seeds they can disperse, the better the chances for the survival of the species. Many trees, however, have one-seeded fruit,or fruit with few seeds, because the plant may have hundreds of blossoms (think of a peach), and can live and fruit for many decades. This is only a generalization, you realize.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 6:47PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Interesting thought !!! We always assume there is logic
in evolution or adaptation (whichever you prefer)lol Seems to me the only true reality of all life is diversity.
No matter what aspect of life you look at there is another life form doing the same thing in another way.??
For plants obviously seed dispersal would be an absolute
So why hasn't the "Best" method won the game??
If "most effective" was the key then the most effective would have covered the earth so there eventually would be far less diversity over time ?? A casual glance at fossils says just the opposite not to mention a trip to a "rain forest?
As to seed disperal nothing has been eliminated but boy is it diversified??lol One seed many seeds which works best?? All you can arrive at ARE generalizations
I think the only absolutes for life are temps and liquid water lol I wouldn't bet money on even that basic lol gary

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 6:54AM
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Thanks, this question and answer helped a lot for a paper I was working on in science class!! (:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:43PM
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