Amphicarpic plants produce aerial and subterranean fruits on an individual plant, and these heteromorphic diaspores give rise to plants that differ in growth and ecology. Amphicarpaea edgeworthii is a summer annual amphicarpic species that grows over a range of light levels. We aimed to compare the response to shading intensity of plants of A. edgeworthii grown throughout their life cycle from aerial seeds (ASP) and from subterranean seeds (SSP). We hypothesized that vegetative and reproductive growth of plants from ASP and SSP respond differently to light. Plants were grown from ASP and SSP under 0, 46, 71 and 90% shading intensities. With plant height as a covariate, vegetative biomass of ASP and SSP did not differ. Leaf area and seed production of SSP were greater and internode length less than they were for ASP in all shading intensities. Aerial and subterranean seed yield, seed mass and number for both ASP and SSP were highest in full light. Aerial seed yield was affected more than subterranean seed yield by shading intensity. The growth and reproductive responses of ASP and SSP of A. edgeworthii may be adaptive to the range of low to high light environments in which this species grows.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Scientific Reports, v. 7, article no. 39886, p. 1-8.

© The Author(s) 2017

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of P. R. China (31570416, 31370705, 31470476).