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  • 1 University of Debrecen Department of Ecology H-4010 Debrecen P. O. Box 71 Hungary
  • 2 University of Debrecen MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group H-4010 Debrecen P. O. Box 71 Hungary
  • 3 University of Debrecen Department of Botany H-4010 Debrecen P. O. Box 14 Hungary
  • 4 Babeş-Bolyai University Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology RO-400015 Cluj-Napoca Republicii str. 42 Romania
  • 5 University of Debrecen Botanical Garden H-4010 Debrecen P. O. Box 40 Hungary
  • 6 Hortobágy National Park Directorate H-4024 Debrecen Sumen utca 2 Hungary
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In the present paper we report original thousand-seed weight data for the flora of the Pannonian Basin. Our goal was to demonstrate the usefulness of seed weight databases by analysing seed weight data in relation to social behaviour types and life forms. We specifically asked the following questions: (i) how the seed weights are related to social behaviour type categories; (ii) how the life form of the species influences seed weight differences between respective social behaviour types? Own weight measurements are provided for 1,405 taxa; and for 187 taxa we published seed weight data for the first time: these were mostly endemics, orchids and/or species with Pontic, Caspian or continental distribution. Several taxonomic or functional groups are underrepresented in our database, like aquatic plants, rare arable weeds and sub-Mediterranean species. Problematic taxa, some difficult-to-harvest species or species with low seed production and cultivated adventives are also underrepresented. We found that the plant strategies expressed by social behaviour types were significantly different in terms of seed weights. The lowest seed weight scores were found for natural pioneers, whereas the highest ones were found for adventives and introduced cultivated plants. Short-lived herbaceous species had significantly higher seed weight scores than herbaceous perennials. No significant differences were found between specialists and generalists within the stress tolerant group. We found that short-lived graminoids possess heavier seeds than perennial graminoids, perennial and annual forbs. Naturalness scores were negatively correlated with seed weights. Our findings showed that seed collections and databases are not only for storing plant material and seed weight data, but can be effectively used for understanding ecological trends and testing plant trait-based hypotheses. Even the identified gaps underline the necessity of further seed collection and measurements.

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