Simulated climate warming decreases fruit number but increases seed mass

There is a growing number of studies showing the effects of rising temperatures on different aspects of plant life cycles and ecological dynamics. However, little is known about how a warmer world would affect plants’ reproductive performance; in other words, how many resources they invest in reproduction and how many of these are translated into new offspring. In this outstanding study, Zi and colleagues compile 61 experiments about the effect of warming on flower, fruit and seed production and fruit and seed mass on a global scale. From these variables, only fruit number and seed mass were shown to be significantly affected by warming, with warmer temperatures leading to fewer fruits and larger seeds. These effects were complex since they interacted with other climatic factors, such as precipitation and latitude, yet were found to be unrelated to the species’ evolutionary history. As a result, this research provides an exciting framework for future studies about the effect of climate change on plant reproduction, making it an obligate reading for those interested in the topic (Summary by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra @caordonezparra) Glob. Chang. Biol. 10.1111/gcb.16498