The effect of achene heteromorphism on progeny traits in the shaggy soldier [Galinsoga ciliata (Rafin) S. F. Blake].
The shaggy soldier [Galinsoga ciliata (Rafin) S. F. Blake, family Asteraceae] is an invasive species that poses a growing threat to crop production. This annual plant produces heteromorphic achenes in a capitulum type inflorescence. The objective of this study was to compare selected morphological and phenological parameters and the success of generative reproduction in plants developed from peripheral and central achenes of the capitulum. The somatic variability of G. ciliata diaspores contributed to differences in the growth rates, development and fertility of the resulting populations. The progeny of central diaspores developed at a slower rate than the individuals derived from peripheral achenes, but at the end of their life cycle, the offspring of dimorphic achenes formed homogenous groups as regards height values. On average, the initial phenophases of G. ciliata plants derived from central achenes began one day later, and they entered the flowering stage eight days later than the individuals developed from peripheral seeds. At the initial growth stage (experimental day 65 to 83), the progeny of central achenes produced fewer capitula. On day 133, the individual fertility of the plants derived from central diaspores was 10% higher on average in comparison with the offspring of peripheral achenes.