Paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L.) is a plant that is commonly grown for its fruits, which are dried and ground up to make the spice paprika. Cavero and colleagues (2001) wanted to know what factors affect a pepper plant’s yield, which is the total dry weight of the fruits it produces. A plant’s fruit yield is a measure of the reproductive output of an individual.
The scientists planted paprika pepper seeds and let them grow for one month. They then removed some of the plants to create 10 groups with different densities, which ranged from 13,333 plants per 10,000 m2 to 533,333 plants per 10,000 m2. Six months later, the scientists picked the fruits from a small section of each group. The fruits were counted, dried, and weighed to determine the fruit yield per plant — as well as the overall yield of all plants within 10,000 m2 — for each of the 10 groups.
The effect of density on the yield (total dry weight of the fruit produced) of pepper plants over one year
Each point represents the mean of four replicates at a given density. The error bars show ±1 standard deviation.
Use what you've learned above to answer the following questions: