Trees with smaller DBH and trees that were taller produced larger embryos, and larger embryos are more likely to germinate (Figure 5). Each spring and summer, wind gusts send whirling showers of maple seeds through the air and to the earth. That’s when chemist Robert Boyle described the “new world” tree to Europeans. Each point represents a single tree, and the line shows the prediction from a multiple generalized linear regression with a Poisson distribution. The line shows the prediction from a generalized linear regression with a quasibinomial distribution, weighted by the number of seeds with embryos per tree, Summary diagram illustrating how each stage of reproduction is influenced by different explanatory variables. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. The nine remaining trees that we were unable to collect seeds from were all trees that had been scored as a 1. Over dispersion was corrected using a quasi‐GLM model. It is uncertain how ongoing and future climate change will ultimately affect red maple reproduction. Smoke was used to visualize the flow of air around the spinning seeds. Out of the 44 trees that produced seed, 13 were scored as a 3 (i.e., >80% of canopy having seed), 15 were scored as a 2 (i.e., 20%–80% of the canopy having seed), and 16 were scored as a 1 (i.e., <20% of the canopy having seed). This created an environment where trees that were geographically close could experience a different number of frost days. Within a tree, the mean proportion of seeds that had an embryo was 61% (±4.5% SE); however, this ranged from 0% to 100% depending on the individual. However, in this study, no measure of temperature (i.e., frost days during flower, frost days during seed, or growing degree days) was predictive for embryo presence. Germination of a Seed. Red maple responds positively to disturbances that create large canopy gaps (i.e., increase light availability) and thin stands, creating a dense regeneration layer. This is likely because producing fruit is more expensive than flowers and being female is associated with additional reproductive costs (Primack et al., 1986) resulting in decreased growth. The final model included embryo volume alone, as the sole predictor for germination success. Conifers; 2. All of which will cause increased mortality, changes in stand density, and competition. Aborted seeds were not fully formed (i.e., no wing development) and collected early in the season, depredated seeds had been chewed open, and fully formed seeds were intact seeds collected at the time of natural dispersal. What factors determine the likelihood of a tree producing seed? Using a 4.3 mm (0.169 inch) increment borer, two tree cores were taken from each tree at breast height, for age and growth measurements. On average, 20% (±3% SE) of the seeds collected per seed‐bearing tree were aborted, and 27% (±4% SE) of the collected seeds per tree showed signs of predation. We also calculated the number of days below freezing that each tree experienced during flowering (March 23–April 27), during seed development (April 28–May 17), as well as the mean daily temperature and growing degree days during flowering and seed development. For example, increased temperature and moisture increased basal area increment in red maple (Zhang et al., 2015). Purpose - The paper presents a theoretical framework that describes the aerodynamics of a falling maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) seed. We did not include elevation as an explanatory variable, since elevation was used to extrapolate the temperature variables from the data loggers, to the individual tree. The only variable which was significant to explain the proportion of seeds with embryos that germinated was mean embryo volume (F1,33 = 9.95, p = 0.003, deviance explained = 20.1, residual deviance = 95.2; Figure 7). Abigail R Goszka: Conceptualization (equal); Formal analysis (equal); Methodology (lead); Writing‐original draft (equal); Writing‐review & editing (equal). The only variable that was significant for predicting the proportion of seeds with embryos per tree was height (Table 3). The research, led by David Lentink, an assistant professor at Wageningen, and Michael H. Dickinson, the Zarem Professor of Bioengineering at Caltech, revealed that, by swirling, maple seeds generate a tornado-like vortex that sits atop the front leading edge of the seeds as they spin slowly to the ground. Each point represents a single tree, with the size of the point corresponding to the number of seeds per tree. This model was weighted by the number of seeds with embryo presence. Out of the 661 scanned seed, only 63% (415 seeds) showed embryo development. Although we did not measure any soil variables, we found an unexpected positive correlation between embryo volume and hemlock basal area in the surrounding stand (Figure 5c). (, Images illustrating the micro‐CT scanning of seeds to measure embryo presence and embryo volume. These weather variables were included as explanatory variables in the models described below. 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"This is still an open challenge for future aerospace engineers, and our aerodynamic study of maple seeds could help design the first successful powered 'maple' helicopters," he adds. A samara is a winged seed that allows the plant to disperse its genes at a greater range; this simple evolutionary incentive has resulted in a wide variety of samara. Seed‐bearing trees were given a visual score of seed development before dispersal. Using a wedge prism, four basal area measurements were taken (one for each cardinal direction) at the base of the study tree, these were averaged to get the basal area per hectare of the surrounding stand. The ring width data were then used to calculate the sum of the basal area increment for the past 3 years (BAI3) and 5 years (BAI5). The research might have implications for the design of swirling parachutes—which have been designed by space agencies to slow the descent of future planetary probes exploring the atmospheres of planets such as Mars—and of micro-helicopters. A variety of individual‐level characteristics were measured (e.g., DBH, canopy area, height, and tree cores were taken to quantify growth), and seed traps were placed under seed‐bearing trees to collect samaras and quantify total seed production. After scanning, the seeds were digitally photographed and the length of the seed, width of the seed, area of the samara wing, and length of the entire samara (i.e., from the top of the seed to the bottom of the wing) were measured in ImageJ v1.5a.