The results of an exploratory study on seed morphology of Miconia Ruiz & Pa von (Melastomataceae) are presented. Seeds of 75 species, mainly from north-western South America, including representatives of all 12 sections of Miconia, were examined, 57 by SEM. Miconia shows an appreciable diversity in seed structure. Twelve major seed types are defined and compared with the current sectional division of the genus and with ecological data. The types do not match with the established sections. The defined seed types may well be of importance for phylogenetic classification, because they possibly indicate relationships. In general, variation in seed morphology in Miconia largely overlaps with variation found in the tribe Miconieae as a whole. Implications for seed dispersal and habitat characteristics are given; the importance of secondary dispersal is discussed. A few species probably are ant-dispersed after having been dropped in vertebrate faeces. Some of the seed types form a species group restricted to certain altitudinal belts and to precipitation zones.

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Acta botanica neerlandica

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging

J.P. Groenendijk, F. Bouman, & A.M. Cleef. (1996). An exploratory study on seed morphology of Miconia Ruiz & Pavón (Melastomataceae), with taxonomic and ecological implications. Acta botanica neerlandica, 45(3), 323–344.