Ramets

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Terms modified by Ramets

  • ramet density

  • Selected Abstracts


    Plasticity of clonal integration in the perennial herb Linaria vulgaris after damage

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2006
    K. HELLSTRÖM
    Summary 1Clonal integration in plants can improve their ability to cope with habitat heterogeneity. Integration may increase in response to damage, such as herbivore attack, if undamaged ramets support damaged ones. To test this, we studied the effects of apex removal and substantial defoliation on the performance of the clonal perennial herb Linaria vulgaris Mill. in a common-garden growth experiment and a 13C-labelling study. 2In the growth experiment, contrary to expectations, the target ramet could compensate for damage better when the other ramets in the clone were also damaged, indicating within-clone competition for resources rather than support to damaged ramets. 3In the 13C-labelling experiment, 5·7% of the label moved to a neighbour ramet in controls. Apex removal resulted in a negative net translocation of 13C in the damaged ramet, but defoliation led to zero net translocation. 4The observed lack of support to damaged ramets in Linaria suggests that plasticity of clonal integration in this species includes competition between sibling ramets. Although young ramets may be supported, resources are not directed towards a single damaged ramet if there are more viable intact ramets in the clone. Our main results are consistent with the notion that resource allocation among ramets depends on their relative value in terms of expected fitness profits in heterogeneous environments. [source]


    Population structure and establishment of the threatened long-lived perennial Scorzonera humilis in relation to environment

    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
    Guy Colling
    Summary 1The intensification of agriculture has resulted in the decline of many plant species of nutrient-poor wet grasslands. At some sites local populations of long-lived characteristic species have persisted and might benefit from recent extensification schemes. However, little is known about the population biology of these plants, and the prospects for the populations are uncertain. 2We studied the population structure and establishment of the long-lived Scorzonera humilis in 23 populations in Luxembourg and neighbouring Belgium. Two types of populations could be distinguished according to their population structure: regenerating populations, with a high proportion of plants with only one or a few rosettes, and aged populations, with a low proportion of small, young plants but a high proportion of individuals with many rosettes. The total density of Scorzonera individuals was higher in regenerating than in aged populations. 3Within sites, S. humilis was restricted to more open and nutrient-poor patches. The composition of the vegetation in plots where S. humilis was present was significantly different from that of plots without the species, indicating that S. humilis is restricted to particular microhabitats. 4In multiple regression analyses, environmental variables explained a large part of the variation in the total density of genets, the density of genets of different size and the density of rosettes. The main variables of influence were site productivity and soil moisture. With increasing productivity and decreasing soil moisture the proportion of small genets decreased and that of large genets increased. Increased productivity had contrasting effects at the genet and ramet (rosette) levels. While genet density decreased, ramet density increased, indicating that if a site is fertilized, recruitment of new genets and survival of genets is reduced, but growth of surviving genets is increased. 5The results of a sowing experiment indicated that an aged population structure was due to a lack of recruitment. The number of seeds that germinated and the proportion of seedlings that survived until the next summer were positively correlated with soil moisture and negatively with productivity. Germination rate and establishment success were significantly higher in Molinion grassland than in the Calthion grasslands. 6The results suggest that for long-lived species the size and number of populations may not be good indicators of the status of a species. In S. humilis large populations (> 1000 genets) still exist, but all are of the aged type. In order to preserve existing populations of S. humilis, management should aim to reduce productivity and increase soil moisture. [source]


    The effect of within-genet and between-genet competition on sexual reproduction and vegetative spread in Potentilla anserina ssp. egedii

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2004
    PIRJO RAUTIAINEN
    Summary 1Patterns of biomass allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction were examined in a perennial stoloniferous clonal plant, Potentilla anserina (L.) Rydb. ssp. egedii (Wormsk.) Hiitonen, in relation to intraspecific competition between monoclonal and multiclonal ramets. 2We predicted that a lack of competition would generate allocation to rapid, short-distance spread (vegetative propagation), while the presence of competition would increase allocation to long-distance dispersal (sexual reproduction), and that the allocation shift would be more pronounced where the competing ramets were related. 3P. anserina ramets were grown in a glasshouse in small pots, either alone (no competition) or with a size-matched ramet that originated from the same clone (within-genet competition) or a different one (between-genet competition). 4Competition suppressed both growth and reproduction, but there was no treatment response in relative investment at the level of a whole genet, although both mother ramets and their daughters showed clear effects when analysed separately. 5When experiencing competition, the mother ramet allocated relatively more to flowers, whereas allocation to vegetative growth was more intense when competition was absent. Allocation patterns were independent of the relatedness of competitors. 6The results imply that P. anserina can modify the allocation of resources to different life-history traits according to competitive stress. Such flexibility is likely to reflect a shift in the optimal allocation strategy during the life cycle of a plant with a guerilla growth form with rapid exploitation of free space in a new patch by vegetative spread favoured. When spread becomes limited by competition, long-distance dispersal in space (seeds) or time (persistence) becomes beneficial. [source]


    Tree growth in an African woodland savanna affected by disturbance

    JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, Issue 3 2006
    R.M. Holdo
    Abstract: Questions: How does tree growth in a tropical woodland savanna vary as a function of size, and how is it affected by competition from neighbours, site attributes, and damage caused by disturbance? Location: western Zimbabwe. Methods: Trees of common species were tagged, mapped, and measured annually between 2001 and 2003 in a Kalahari sand woodland savanna. Diameter increments were analysed with mixed model regressions for the largest ramet in each genet. Stem diameter and damage, soil texture, and indices of competition at multiple spatial scales were used as covariates. Results: Stem diameter increased initially and then declined as a function of size in undamaged trees, which grew faster than damaged trees. Growth in damaged trees declined with size. No site differences were detected, and there was evidence for between-tree competition on growth only in the fastest-growing species, Brachystegia spiciformis. In several species the growth rate of the largest ramet increased as a function of the basal area of secondary ramets, contrary to expectations. For many species, the growth models showed poor explanatory power. Conclusions: Growth in Kalahari sand savanna trees varies as a function of size and changes in tree architecture caused by disturbance agents such as fire, frost, and elephant browsing. Disturbance may thus play an important role on vegetation dynamics through its effects on growth in the post-disturbance phase. Growth is highly stochastic for some species in this system, and more deterministic in others. It is hypothesized that this dichotomy may be driven by differences in rooting depth among species. [source]


    Genetic variation and clonal diversity in four clonal sedges (Carex) along the Arctic coast of Eurasia

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2001
    Anna Stenström
    Abstract We studied the structure of genetic variation (at both ramet- and genet-level) and clonal diversity within and among populations in the four closely related arctic clonal sedges Carex bigelowii, C. ensifolia, C. lugens and C. stans by use of allozyme markers. Compared to other sedges and arctic plants, the studied taxa all had high levels of genetic variation, both within populations and taxa. These taxa contained most of the total gene diversity (HT) within populations and a small part of the diversity among populations (GST ranged 0.05,0.43). Carex bigelowii had genetic variation (HS = 0.173, mean for populations) at a comparable level to other outbreeding arctic plants and to other widespread, rhizomatous and mainly outbreeding Carex species. In contrast, C. ensifolia (HS = 0.335), C. lugens (HS = 0.339) and C. stans (HS = 0.294) had within-population variations that were higher than in most other studied Carex species and for arctic plants in general. Genetic variation was not related to any tested environmental variable, but it was lower in areas deglaciated only 10 000 years bp compared to areas deglaciated 60 000 years bp or not glaciated at all during the Weichselian. All the populations were multiclonal, except for two populations of C. stans that were monoclonal. In contrast to genetic variation, clonal diversity decreased with latitude and did not differ between areas with different times of deglaciation. In accordance with previous studies, C. bigelowii and C. lugens were found to be outbreeding, while C. ensifolia and C. stans had mixed mating systems. [source]


    Defense mechanisms against grazing: a study of trypsin inhibitor responses to simulated grazing in the sedge Carex bigelowii

    OIKOS, Issue 9 2007
    Åsa Lindgren
    Trypsin inhibitors have been suggested to constitute an inducible defense in the sedge Carex bigelowii, and some former studies suggest that this might be a cause for the cyclic population dynamics in many alpine and arctic small mammals, for example lemmings (Lemmus lemmus). We investigated this further by using a method of simulated grazing (clipping) at different intensities, in three different habitats with varying resource availability, with different harvest times (hours after clipping), and two different stages of ramets (reproductive/vegetative) in a study from the Swedish mountain range. Our results do not indicate that C. bigelowii has an inducible defense constituted by an increase in trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA), but rather that the amount of soluble plant proteins (SPP) is lowered in wounded plants. The responses were somewhat different in the three habitats, with ramets growing in the marsh showing the highest ratio of TIA to SPP, due to low amounts of SPP. We did not find any significant effects of harvest time, or of the stage of the ramet that could support the hypothesis of an inducible defense. To conclude, we could not find any evidence for an inducible defense consisting of trypsin inhibitors in Carex bigelowii ramets, but we did find variations in the amount of SPP that may have nutritional consequences for herbivores. [source]


    The influence of host plant variation and intraspecific competition on oviposition preference and offspring performance in the host races of Eurosta solidaginis

    ECOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY, Issue 1 2000
    Timothy P. Craig
    Summary 1. A series of experiments was conducted to measure the impact of plant genotype, plant growth rate, and intraspecific competition on the oviposition preference and offspring performance of the host races of Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera: Tephritidae), a fly that forms galls on Solidago altissima and Solidago gigantea (Asteraceae). Previous research has shown that both host races prefer to oviposit on their own host plant where survival is much higher than on the alternate host plant. In this study, neither host race showed any relationship between oviposition preference and offspring performance in choosing among plants of their natal host species. 2. The larval survival of both host races differed among plant genotypes when each host race oviposited on its natal host species. In one experiment, altissima host race females showed a preference among plant genotypes that was not correlated with offspring performance on those genotypes. In all other experiments, neither the altissima nor gigantea host race demonstrated a preference for specific host plant genotypes. 3. Eurosta solidaginis had a preference for ovipositing on rapidly growing ramets in all experiments, however larval survival was not correlated with ramet growth rate at the time of oviposition. 4. Eurosta solidaginis suffered high mortality from intraspecific competition in the early larval stage. There was little evidence, however, that females avoided ovipositing on ramets that had been attacked previously. This led to an aggregated distribution of eggs among ramets and strong intraspecific competition. 5. There was no interaction among plant genotype, plant growth rate, or intraspecific competition in determining oviposition preference or offspring performance. [source]


    THREE-GENE IDENTITY COEFFICIENTS DEMONSTRATE THAT CLONAL REPRODUCTION PROMOTES INBREEDING AND SPATIAL RELATEDNESS IN YELLOW-CEDAR, CALLITROPSIS NOOTKATENSIS

    EVOLUTION, Issue 10 2008
    Stacey Lee Thompson
    Asexual reproduction has the potential to promote population structuring through matings between clones as well as through limited dispersal of related progeny. Here we present an application of three-gene identity coefficients that tests whether clonal reproduction promotes inbreeding and spatial relatedness within populations. With this method, the first two genes are sampled to estimate pairwise relatedness or inbreeding, whereas the third gene is sampled from either a clone or a sexually derived individual. If three-gene coefficients are significantly greater for clones than nonclones, then clonality contributes excessively to genetic structure. First, we describe an estimator of three-gene identity and briefly evaluate its properties. We then use this estimator to test the effect of clonality on the genetic structure within populations of yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) using a molecular marker survey. Five microsatellite loci were genotyped for 485 trees sampled from nine populations. Our three-gene analyses show that clonal ramets promote inbreeding and spatial structure in most populations. Among-population correlations between clonal extent and genetic structure generally support these trends, yet with less statistical significance. Clones appear to contribute to genetic structure through the limited dispersal of offspring from replicated ramets of the same clonal genet, whereas this structure is likely maintained by mating among these relatives. [source]


    LIFE-HISTORY DIFFERENTIATION AND THE MAINTENANCE OF MONOECY AND DIOECY IN SAGITTARIA LATIFOLIA (ALISMATACEAE)

    EVOLUTION, Issue 9 2003
    Marcel E. Dorken
    Abstract The existence of monoecious and dioecious populations within plant species is rare. This limits opportunities to investigate the ecological mechanisms responsible for the evolution and maintenance of these contrasting sexual systems. In Sagittaria latifolia, an aquatic flowering plant, monoecious and dioecious populations exist in close geographic proximity but occupy distinct wetland habitats differing in the relative importance of disturbance and competition, respectively. Life-history theory predicts contrasting evolutionary responses to these environmental conditions. We propose that the maintenance of monoecy and dioecy in S. latifolia is governed by ecological selection of divergent life-history strategies in contrasting habitats. Here we evaluate this hypothesis by comparing components of growth and reproduction between monoecious and dioecious populations under four conditions: natural populations, a uniform glasshouse environment, a common garden in which monoecious and dioecious populations and their F1 progeny were compared, and a transplant experiment using shaded and unshaded plots in a freshwater marsh. Plants from dioecious populations were larger in size and produced heavier corms in comparison with monoecious populations. Monoecious populations flowered earlier and produced more flowers, clonal ramets, and corms than dioecious populations. The life-history differences between the sexual systems were shown to have a quantitative genetic basis, with F1 progeny generally exhibiting intermediate trait values. Survival was highest for each sexual system in field plots that most closely resembled the habitats in which monoecious (unshaded) and dioecious (shaded) populations grow. These results demonstrate that monoecious and dioecious populations exhibit contrasting patterns of investment in traits involved with growth and reproduction. Selection for divergent life histories between monoecious and dioecious populations of S. latifolia appears to be the principal mechanism maintaining the integrity of the two sexual systems in areas of geographic overlap. [source]


    FREQUENCY AND SPATIAL PATTERNING OF CLONAL REPRODUCTION IN LOUISIANA IRIS HYBRID POPULATIONS

    EVOLUTION, Issue 1 2000
    John M. Burke
    Abstract., The plant genera in which natural hybridization is most prevalent tend to be outcrossing perennials with some mechanism for clonal (i.e., asexual) reproduction. Although clonal reproduction in fertile, sexually reproducing hybrid populations could have important evolutionary consequences, little attention has been paid to quantifying this parameter in such populations. In the present study, we examined the frequency and spatial patterning of clonal reproduction in two Louisiana iris hybrid populations. Allozyme analysis of both populations revealed relatively high levels of genotypic diversity. However, a considerable amount of clonality was apparent. Nearly half of all genets (47%) in one population and more than half (61%) in the other had multiple ramets. Furthermore, both populations exhibited relatively high levels of genetic structuring, a pattern that resulted from the aggregation of clonal ramets. The occurrence of clonal reproduction in hybrid populations could not only facilitate introgression through an increase in the number of flowering ramets per genet and/or the survivorship of early generation hybrids, but might also influence the mating system of such populations. Any potential increase in the selfing rate due to cross-pollination among ramets of the same genet may, in turn, increase the likelihood of homoploid hybrid speciation. [source]


    Plasticity of clonal integration in the perennial herb Linaria vulgaris after damage

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2006
    K. HELLSTRÖM
    Summary 1Clonal integration in plants can improve their ability to cope with habitat heterogeneity. Integration may increase in response to damage, such as herbivore attack, if undamaged ramets support damaged ones. To test this, we studied the effects of apex removal and substantial defoliation on the performance of the clonal perennial herb Linaria vulgaris Mill. in a common-garden growth experiment and a 13C-labelling study. 2In the growth experiment, contrary to expectations, the target ramet could compensate for damage better when the other ramets in the clone were also damaged, indicating within-clone competition for resources rather than support to damaged ramets. 3In the 13C-labelling experiment, 5·7% of the label moved to a neighbour ramet in controls. Apex removal resulted in a negative net translocation of 13C in the damaged ramet, but defoliation led to zero net translocation. 4The observed lack of support to damaged ramets in Linaria suggests that plasticity of clonal integration in this species includes competition between sibling ramets. Although young ramets may be supported, resources are not directed towards a single damaged ramet if there are more viable intact ramets in the clone. Our main results are consistent with the notion that resource allocation among ramets depends on their relative value in terms of expected fitness profits in heterogeneous environments. [source]


    Effect of drought on the growth of Lolium perenne genotypes with and without fungal endophytes

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2000
    G. P. Cheplick
    Abstract 1Grass leaves are often inhabited by fungal endophytes that can enhance host growth. In some forage species, endophytes improve host resistance to, and recovery from, drought. 2Our objective was to determine if the growth of genotypes of Lolium perenne L. was improved by endophytes during recovery from drought. 3Thirteen infected genotypes were cloned into ramets. Half were treated with a systemic fungicide to eliminate the endophyte (E,); half were untreated and retained high endophyte levels (E+). In a glasshouse, half of all E, and E+ ramets were watered regularly, whilst half were exposed to a 2 week drought on two occasions, each followed by a 3 week recovery period. 4After the first drought and recovery period, endophytes significantly reduced tiller production in the drought-stressed group. 5After the second drought and recovery period, effects of drought on live leaf area and dry mass were highly dependent on host genotype, but not endophytes. The mean tiller mass of E+ ramets after drought was significantly less than that of watered E+ ramets, but this was not true in E, ramets. For six genotypes there was greater mass allocation to storage in the tiller bases of E, ramets after drought. 6This perennial ryegrass population showed marked genotypic variation in the ability to recover from drought stress, but endophytes played little or no role in this ability. For some host genotypes there may be a metabolic cost of harbouring endophytes during environmentally stressful conditions. [source]


    Root and rhizome systems of perennial grasses grown in Inner Mongolian grassland, China

    GRASSLAND SCIENCE, Issue 4 2009
    Min Ao
    Abstract The root and rhizome systems of dominant perennial grasses in Inner Mongolian grassland were clarified. We surveyed the vertical distribution of root and rhizome biomass in the natural stands, and the changes of under-ground biomass and the branching pattern of rhizomes for transplanted plants in a container experiment. Most roots of Leymus chinensis, Bromus inermis, Elymus dahuricus and Agropyron cristatum were distributed in the soil depth of 0,10 cm. Roots of E. dahuricus and A. cristatum were distributed in a shallower soil layer, but those of L. chinensis and B. inermis were distributed in a deeper soil layer. Biomass of above-ground parts increased with growth, resulting in a decreasing ratio of under-ground parts to total biomass. Rhizomes of L. chinensis and B. inermis were distributed in the soil depth of 0,10 cm, but E. dahuricus and A. cristatum did not have rhizomes. L. chinensis had longer rhizomes and new ramets were produced away from their mother plant. B. inermis had many short rhizomes and produced daughter plants near their mother plant. [source]


    Infrequent sporophyte production maintains a female-biased sex ratio in the unisexual clonal moss Hylocomium splendens

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2010
    Knut Rydgren
    Summary 1.,Sex ratios in unisexual bryophytes are most often female biased, whereas male-biased sex ratios predominate in unisexual seed plants. This ,bryophyte paradox', i.e. that sex ratios are biased in favour of the sex associated with the highest reproductive costs, has remained unexplained. 2.,Analysis of sex-ratio patterns via the influence of sex distribution on population growth rates (,) has not previously been carried out for bryophytes. We used this method to model how variation in sex ratio and sporophyte frequency influences , in the clonal bryophyte Hylocomium splendens. We obtained , by matrix modelling of synthetic experimental populations derived from demographic field data, using a linear two-sex model. 3.,In our set of experimental populations , varied between 1.13 and 1.27 in response to variation in sex ratio and sporophyte frequency, with the highest , obtained for the combination of a very low sporophyte frequency and a slightly female-biased sex ratio. 4.,Our results explain the female-biased sex ratio of H. splendens by the slightly lower survival of and production of vegetative offspring by males than by non-sporophytic females. 5.,Synthesis. According to our models, female dominance is the predicted outcome of low to moderate fertilization success and male performance intermediate between that of sporophytic and of non-sporophytic females. Our results therefore explain how a female-biased sex ratio can be maintained despite higher costs of reproduction in females than in males. In dioecious bryophytes, males and females must grow in close contact for fertilization to take place. Better performance of male ramets than of the female ramets they fertilize also explains how male clones can expand into female clones. A similar performance hierarchy of males and females may occur in unisexual clonal seed plants, but more efficient fertilization systems by pollination prevents the selective advantage of unfertilized females from being realized. This explains why vascular plant populations tend to be male biased. We hypothesise difference in fertilization distance range between sperm and pollen as a simple explanation why ramet level sex ratios are in general male dominated in clonal seed plants and female dominated in clonal bryophytes. [source]


    Hybridization dynamics of invasive cattail (Typhaceae) stands in the Western Great Lakes Region of North America: a molecular analysis

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    Steven E. Travis
    Summary 1.,By increasing vigour and broadening ecological tolerances, hybridization between native and introduced species may serve as a primary driver of invasiveness. 2.,Cattails (Typha, Typhaceae) are clonal wetland graminoids that are known to hybridize where anthropogenic influences have resulted in distributional overlap. 3.,In order to gauge the relative performance of hybrid vs. pure Typha, we characterized hybridization and clonal growth where native Typha latifolia and introduced Typha angustifolia occur together in the Western Great Lakes Region of North America. 4.,Based on microsatellite markers, we documented F1 hybrids as the most common class at five intensively sampled sites, constituting up to 90% of the genets and 99% of the ramets. Backcrosses to one or the other parent constituted 5,38% of the genets. Pure T. latifolia was rare and never constituted more than 12% of the genets. 5.,F1 hybrid genets achieved the highest mean ramet numbers at three sites, and were second in size only to T. angustifolia at two sites; however, these differences were not significant based on site-specific one-way anovas. 6.,F1 hybrids exhibited little height advantage over other Typha classes, although there was a general tendency for hybrids in relatively mixed stands to be among the tallest genets in shallow water, but among the shortest genets in deeper water. 7.,Native T. latifolia was found growing at the shallowest water depths at the only site where it was sufficiently abundant to be included in statistical comparisons. 8.,Synthesis. The role of hybridization in plant invasions can be difficult to confirm in the absence of molecular data, particularly for clonal species where the boundaries separating individuals are otherwise difficult to discern. Here, we used molecular markers to document the prevalence and performance of hybrid genets in five invasive Typha stands covering a broad area of the Western Great Lakes Region. We found an extremely high prevalence of F1 hybrids within mixed Typha stands. This, coupled with the typically larger sizes of hybrid genets, suggests that hybrids are capable of outperforming other Typha spp. and that hybridization has played an influential role in the North American cattail invasion. [source]


    Greater capacity for division of labour in clones of Fragaria chiloensis from patchier habitats

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2007
    SERGIO R. ROILOA
    Summary 1Unlike non-clonal plants, clonal plants can develop a division of labour in which connected ramets specialize to acquire different, locally abundant resources. This occurs as a plastic response to a patchy environment where two resources tend not to occur together and different ramets experience high availabilities of different resources. We hypothesized that if division of labour is an important advantage of clonal growth in such environments in nature, then clones from habitats where resource availabilities are negatively associated should show a greater capacity for division of labour than clones from habitats where resource availabilities are more uniform. 2To test this, we collected clones of Fragaria chiloensis from sand dune and grassland sites in each of three regions of the central coast of California, grew pairs of connected or severed ramets under low light and high N or under high light and low N, and measured leaf area, chlorophyll content and final dry mass. Given that previous work has indicated that high availabilities of light and N show a stronger tendency not to occur together in the dune than in the grassland sites, we expected that clones from dunes would show greater capacity for division of labour than clones from grasslands. 3Clones from dunes showed a greater capacity than clones from grasslands to specialize for acquisition of abundant N via high proportional mass of roots. Clones from the two types of habitats showed similar capacity to specialize for acquisition of abundant light via high leaf area and chlorophyll content of leaves. Specialization via leaf area and chlorophyll content took place mainly within the first half of the 60-day experiment. 4These results provide evidence that division of labour in a clonal plant has been selected for in natural habitats where high levels of different resources tend to be spatially separated. Results also show that division of labour can occur, not just via allocation of mass, but also via physiological traits, and that both morphological and physiological specialization can take place within a few weeks. 5Clonal plants dominate many habitats and include many highly invasive species. Division of labour is one of the most striking potential advantages of clonal growth, and is a remarkable instance of phenotypic plasticity in plants. This study further suggests that division of labour in clonal plants is an instance of adaptive plasticity and could therefore play a part in their widespread ecological success. [source]


    Spatial genetic structure links between soil seed banks and above-ground populations of Primula modesta in subalpine grassland

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
    A. SHIMONO
    Summary 1The spatial genetic structure of soil seed banks establishes the initial template for development of spatial genetic structure in above-ground plants, but is rarely evaluated. 2We used kinship coefficients to analyse the fine-scale spatial genetic autocorrelation of plants and of seed banks from different soil depths for Primula modesta at a subalpine fen site on Mt Asama, central Japan. 3The spatial genetic structure of surface seeds (0,1 cm depth) was significant, while deeper seeds (1,5 cm depth) had no significant genetic structure. We also detected a more pronounced spatial genetic association between the surface seeds and flowering genets than between the deeper seeds and flowering genets. 4These results suggest that the surface seed bank accounts for a large proportion of the previous season's seed dispersal and therefore represents the transient seed bank, whereas the deeper (persistent) seed bank pools the reproductive output of multiple generations. 5Directional analysis indicated that secondary dispersal by running water modifies the spatial genetic structure and extends dispersal distances. Over time, this may impact on the spatial pattern of soil seeds, possibly accounting for the absence of spatial genetic structure in deeper seeds. 6Emerging seedlings and flowering ramets were strongly clustered together at distances up to 20 cm. Surviving seedlings were aggregated at short distances because of the patchy spatial distribution of safe sites for establishment, allowing development and strengthening of the marked fine-scale spatial genetic structure. [source]


    Demographic analysis of dormancy and survival in the terrestrial orchid Cypripedium reginae

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2004
    MARC KÉRY
    Summary 1We use capture-recapture models to estimate the fraction of dormant ramets, survival and state transition rates, and to identify factors affecting these rates, for the terrestrial orchid Cypripedium reginae. We studied two populations in West Virginia, USA, for 11 years and investigated relationships between grazing and demography. Abe Run's population was small, with moderate herbivory by deer and relatively constant population size. The population at Big Draft was of medium size, with heavy deer grazing, and a sharply declining number of flowering plants up to the spring before our study started, when the population was fenced. 2We observed dormant episodes lasting from 1 to 4 years. At Abe Run and Big Draft, 32.5% and 7.4% of ramets, respectively, were dormant at least once during the study period for an average of 1.6 and 1.3 years, respectively. We estimated the annual fraction of ramets in the dormant state at 12.3% (95% CI 9.5,15.8%) at Abe Run and at 1.8% (95% CI 1.2,2.6%) at Big Draft. Transition rates between the dormant, vegetative and flowering life-states did not vary between years in either population. Most surviving ramets remained in the same state from one year to the next. Survival rates were constant at Abe Run (0.96, 95% CI 0.93,0.97), but varied between years at Big Draft (0.89,0.99, mean 0.95). 3At Big Draft, we found neither a temporal trend in survival after cessation of grazing, nor relationships between survival and the number of spring frost days or cumulative precipitation during the current or the previous 12 months. However, analysis of precipitation on a 3-month basis revealed a positive relationship between survival and precipitation during the spring (March,May) of the previous year. 4Relationship between climate and the population dynamics of orchids may have to be studied with a fine temporal resolution, and considering possible time lags. Capture-recapture modelling provides a comprehensive and flexible framework for demographic analysis of plants with dormancy. [source]


    The effect of within-genet and between-genet competition on sexual reproduction and vegetative spread in Potentilla anserina ssp. egedii

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2004
    PIRJO RAUTIAINEN
    Summary 1Patterns of biomass allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction were examined in a perennial stoloniferous clonal plant, Potentilla anserina (L.) Rydb. ssp. egedii (Wormsk.) Hiitonen, in relation to intraspecific competition between monoclonal and multiclonal ramets. 2We predicted that a lack of competition would generate allocation to rapid, short-distance spread (vegetative propagation), while the presence of competition would increase allocation to long-distance dispersal (sexual reproduction), and that the allocation shift would be more pronounced where the competing ramets were related. 3P. anserina ramets were grown in a glasshouse in small pots, either alone (no competition) or with a size-matched ramet that originated from the same clone (within-genet competition) or a different one (between-genet competition). 4Competition suppressed both growth and reproduction, but there was no treatment response in relative investment at the level of a whole genet, although both mother ramets and their daughters showed clear effects when analysed separately. 5When experiencing competition, the mother ramet allocated relatively more to flowers, whereas allocation to vegetative growth was more intense when competition was absent. Allocation patterns were independent of the relatedness of competitors. 6The results imply that P. anserina can modify the allocation of resources to different life-history traits according to competitive stress. Such flexibility is likely to reflect a shift in the optimal allocation strategy during the life cycle of a plant with a guerilla growth form with rapid exploitation of free space in a new patch by vegetative spread favoured. When spread becomes limited by competition, long-distance dispersal in space (seeds) or time (persistence) becomes beneficial. [source]


    RAMET DYNAMICS FOR THE CLONAL SEAWEED PTEROCLADIELLA CAPILLACEA (RHODOPHYTA): A COMPARISON WITH CHONDRUS CRISPUS AND WITH MAZZAELLA CORNUCOPIAE (GIGARTINALES)

    JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, Issue 6 2000
    Ricardo Scrosati
    Little is known about the dynamics and the ecological interactions among ramets (fronds) from populations of clonal red seaweeds. Small ramets are very difficult to tag, so their growth cannot be monitored directly. The temporal variation of the relationship between stand biomass and ramet density offers information on ramet performance. We calculated this relationship for an intertidal population of Pterocladiella capillacea (Gmelin) Santelices et Hommersand (Gelidiales) from Baja California, Mexico. Biomass and density were positively correlated on an annual basis, indicating that biomass accumulated without involving self-thinning among ramets. This contrasts with nonclonal seaweeds, for which self-thinning among individuals occurs during growth, but agrees with other clonal red seaweeds, such as Chondrus crispus Stackhouse and Mazzaella cornucopiae (Postels et Ruprecht) Hommersand (both Gigartinales). The growth pattern for these members of the Gelidiales and of the Gigartinales holds despite differences in holdfast morphology and ramet branching degree and despite differences in the capacity of coalescence during early stages, known only for the Gigartinales. The positive slope for the dynamic biomass,density relationship, on a bilogarithmic scale, was statistically steeper for M. cornucopiae than for P. capillacea and for C. crispus. This suggests that the addition of new ramets during the growth season may be relatively more beneficial for biomass accumulation rates for M. cornucopiae. This would be expected for high-intertidal species subjected to strong abiotic stress, for which ramet crowding constitutes a key protection. Pterocladiella capillacea occurs at the mid-intertidal zone and C. crispus at the subtidal zone, so ramets would be relatively less important in that respect. [source]


    Disentangling complex fine-scale ecological patterns by path modelling using GLMM and GIS

    JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, Issue 5 2009
    Vegar Bakkestuen
    Abstract Question: How can statistical modelling tools (GLMM) and GIS be used as an aid in understanding complex ecological patterns? This general question was approached by using bryophyte demography data as an example. More specifically, we asked what is the contribution of terrain shape to explaining the performance and fate of plant individuals, controlling for all other known relationships? Location: Norway. Methods: Information on demography was obtained for 140 populations of the perennial clonal bryophyte Hylocomium splendens in Norway spruce forests during an 11-year period (1992-2002). Performance (size and branching pattern) was recorded for mature segments and fate was recorded for growing points. Positions of each of the more than 30 000 recorded bryophyte ramets were coupled with (micro-) topographic characteristics (slope and convexity) derived from fine-scale digital elevation models in a GIS framework. Carefully planned sequences of generalised linear mixed models (GLMM) were performed to test predictions from a conceptual path model. Results: We demonstrate strong dependence of size on branching, fate and on vertical position in the bryophyte carpet, and an effect of vertical position on branching pattern. Micro-topography contributed to explaining plant performance by four different mechanisms: (1) a direct effect of slope on the segment's vertical position in the carpet; (2-3) direct effects of both slope and convexity on fates of individuals via controls on risk of burial; and (4) an indirect effect of convexity on branching pattern via a direct effect on size. No indication of a direct effect of terrain on branching was found. Conclusions: Our study exemplifies the usefulness of GLMM for disentangling complex ecological relationships. Specifically, we recognise micro-topography as a potentially important factor for plant demography in general and for performance and fate of individuals in particular. [source]


    Tree growth in an African woodland savanna affected by disturbance

    JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, Issue 3 2006
    R.M. Holdo
    Abstract: Questions: How does tree growth in a tropical woodland savanna vary as a function of size, and how is it affected by competition from neighbours, site attributes, and damage caused by disturbance? Location: western Zimbabwe. Methods: Trees of common species were tagged, mapped, and measured annually between 2001 and 2003 in a Kalahari sand woodland savanna. Diameter increments were analysed with mixed model regressions for the largest ramet in each genet. Stem diameter and damage, soil texture, and indices of competition at multiple spatial scales were used as covariates. Results: Stem diameter increased initially and then declined as a function of size in undamaged trees, which grew faster than damaged trees. Growth in damaged trees declined with size. No site differences were detected, and there was evidence for between-tree competition on growth only in the fastest-growing species, Brachystegia spiciformis. In several species the growth rate of the largest ramet increased as a function of the basal area of secondary ramets, contrary to expectations. For many species, the growth models showed poor explanatory power. Conclusions: Growth in Kalahari sand savanna trees varies as a function of size and changes in tree architecture caused by disturbance agents such as fire, frost, and elephant browsing. Disturbance may thus play an important role on vegetation dynamics through its effects on growth in the post-disturbance phase. Growth is highly stochastic for some species in this system, and more deterministic in others. It is hypothesized that this dichotomy may be driven by differences in rooting depth among species. [source]


    Local forest environment largely affects below-ground growth, clonal diversity and fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the temperate deciduous forest herb Paris quadrifolia

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 14 2005
    HANS JACQUEMYN
    Abstract Paris quadrifolia (herb Paris) is a long-lived, clonal woodland herb that shows strong differences in local population size and shoot density along an environmental gradient of soil and light conditions. This environmentally based structuring may be mediated by differences in clonal growth and seedling recruitment through sexual reproduction. To study the interrelationship between environmental conditions and spatial patterns of clonal growth, the spatial genetic structure of four P. quadrifolia populations growing in strongly contrasting sites was determined. In the first place, plant excavations were performed in order to (i) determine differences in below-ground growth of genets, (ii) investigate connectedness of ramets and (iii) determine total genet size. Although no differences in internode length were found among sites, clones in moist sites were much smaller (genets usually consisted of 1,3 interconnected shoots, most of them flowering) than genets in dry sites, which consisted of up to 15 interconnected shoots, the majority of which were vegetative. Further, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers were used. Clonal diversity was higher in populations located in moist and productive ash,poplar forests compared to those found in drier and less productive mixed forest sites (G/N: 0.27 and 0.14 and Simpson's D: 0.84 and 0.75, respectively). Patterns of spatial population genetic structure under dry conditions revealed several large clones dominating the entire population, whereas in moist sites many small genets were observed. Nevertheless, strong spatial genetic structure of the genet population was observed. Our results clearly demonstrate that patterns of clonal diversity and growth form of P. quadrifolia differ among environments. Limited seedling recruitment and large clone sizes due to higher connectedness of ramets explain the low clonal diversity in dry sites. In moist sites, higher levels of clonal diversity and small clone sizes indicate repeated seedling recruitment, whereas strong spatial genetic structure suggests limited seed dispersal within populations. [source]


    Size distribution and genetic structure in relation to clonal growth within a population of Magnolia tomentosa Thunb. (Magnoliaceae)

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 9 2004
    S. SETSUKO
    Abstract To establish a baseline for conservation of a threatened clonal tree, Magnolia tomentosa, we investigated size distribution and genetic structure within a population, using six microsatellite markers. Within the study site, 1044 living ramets (stems) were distinguished into 175 genets (individuals). The mean number of ramets per genet was 5.97, and 76% of all genets had multiple ramets. Genets, which apparently produced new ramets through sprouting and layering, were generally composed of several large ramets and many small ramets. Spatial autocorrelation analysis of microsatellite alleles revealed positive autocorrelation over short distances for both ramets and genets. The Moran's I -value of ramets in the shortest distance class was 3.8 times larger than that of genets, reflecting the effect of clonal growth. To analyse the size-class differences in genetic structure, the 175 genets were separated into two size classes, small and large. The correlogram for the small genets exhibited positive spatial autocorrelation in the shortest distance class, but this was not the case for the correlogram for the large genets, indicating that genetic structure is weakened or lost through self-thinning as the genets grow. The FIS value over all loci for the small genets was positive and deviated significantly from zero, while the corresponding value for the large genets was close to zero. The excess homozygotes in the small genets may be the result of genetic substructuring and/or inbreeding, and the reduction in homozygote frequency from the small to large genets may be because of loss of genetic structure and/or inbreeding depression. [source]


    A microsatellite-based estimation of clonal diversity and population subdivision in Zostera marina, a marine flowering plant

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2000
    T. B. H. Reusch
    Abstract We examined the genetic population structure in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), the dominant seagrass species of the northern hemisphere, over spatial scales from 12 km to 10 000 km using the polymorphism of DNA microsatellites. Twelve populations were genotyped for six loci representing a total of 67 alleles. Populations sampled included the North Sea (four), the Baltic Sea (three), the western Atlantic (two), the eastern Atlantic (one), the Mediterranean Sea (one) and the eastern Pacific (one). Microsatellites revealed substantial genetic variation in a plant group with low allozyme diversity. Average expected heterozygosities per population (monoclonal populations excluded) ranged from 0.32 to 0.61 (mean = 0.48) and allele numbers varied between 3.3 and 6.7 (mean = 4.7). Using the expected frequency of multilocus genotypes within populations, we distinguished ramets from genetic individuals (i.e. equivalent to clones). Differences in clonal diversity among populations varied widely and ranged from maximal diversity (i.e. all ramets with different genotype) to near or total monoclonality (two populations). All multiple sampled ramets were excluded from further analysis of genetic differentiation within and between populations. All but one population were in Hardy,Weinberg equilibrium, indicating that Zostera marina is predominantly outcrossing. From a regression of the pairwise population differentiation with distance, we obtained an effective population size Ne of 2440,5000. The overall genetic differentiation among eelgrass populations, assessed as , (a standardized estimate of Slatkin's RST) was 0.384 (95% CI 0.34,0.44, P < 0.001). Genetic differentiation was weak among three North Sea populations situated 12,42 km distant from one another, suggesting that tidal currents result in an efficient exchange of propagules. In the Baltic and in Nova Scotia, a small but statistically significant fraction of the genetic variance was distributed between populations (, = 0.029,0.053) at scales of 15,35 km. Pairwise genetic differentiation between European populations were correlated with distance between populations up to a distance of 4500 km (linear differentiation-by-distance model, R2 = 0.67). In contrast, both Nova Scotian populations were genetically much closer to North Sea and Baltic populations than expected from their geographical distance (pairwise , = 0.03,0.08, P < 0.01). A biogeographical cluster of Canadian with Baltic/North Sea populations was also supported using a neighbour-joining tree based on Cavalli,Sforza's chord distance. Relatedness between populations may be very different from predictions based on geographical vicinity. [source]


    Defense mechanisms against grazing: a study of trypsin inhibitor responses to simulated grazing in the sedge Carex bigelowii

    OIKOS, Issue 9 2007
    Åsa Lindgren
    Trypsin inhibitors have been suggested to constitute an inducible defense in the sedge Carex bigelowii, and some former studies suggest that this might be a cause for the cyclic population dynamics in many alpine and arctic small mammals, for example lemmings (Lemmus lemmus). We investigated this further by using a method of simulated grazing (clipping) at different intensities, in three different habitats with varying resource availability, with different harvest times (hours after clipping), and two different stages of ramets (reproductive/vegetative) in a study from the Swedish mountain range. Our results do not indicate that C. bigelowii has an inducible defense constituted by an increase in trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA), but rather that the amount of soluble plant proteins (SPP) is lowered in wounded plants. The responses were somewhat different in the three habitats, with ramets growing in the marsh showing the highest ratio of TIA to SPP, due to low amounts of SPP. We did not find any significant effects of harvest time, or of the stage of the ramet that could support the hypothesis of an inducible defense. To conclude, we could not find any evidence for an inducible defense consisting of trypsin inhibitors in Carex bigelowii ramets, but we did find variations in the amount of SPP that may have nutritional consequences for herbivores. [source]


    Architectural and growth traits differ in effects on performance of clonal plants: an analysis using a field-parameterized simulation model

    OIKOS, Issue 5 2007
    Radka Wildová
    Individual traits are often assumed to be linked in a straightforward manner to plant performance and processes such as population growth, competition and community dynamics. However, because no trait functions in isolation in an organism, the effect of any one trait is likely to be at least somewhat contingent on other trait values. Thus, to the extent that the suite of trait values differs among species, the magnitude and even direction of correlation between values of any particular trait and performance is likely to differ among species. Working with a group of clonal plant species, we assessed the degree of this contingency and therefore the extent to which the assumption of simple and general linkages between traits and performance is valid. To do this, we parameterized a highly calibrated, spatially explicit, individual-based model of clonal plant population dynamics and then manipulated one trait at a time in the context of realistic values of other traits for each species. The model includes traits describing growth, resource allocation, response to competition, as well as architectural traits that determine spatial spread. The model was parameterized from a short-term (3 month) experiment and then validated with a separate, longer term (two year) experiment for six clonal wetland sedges, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex sterilis, Carex stricta, Cladium mariscoides, Scirpus acutus and Scirpus americanus. These plants all co-occur in fens in southeastern Michigan and represent a spectrum of clonal growth forms from strong clumpers to runners with long rhizomes. Varying growth, allocation and competition traits produced the largest and most uniform responses in population growth among species, while variation in architectural traits produced responses that were smaller and more variable among species. This is likely due to the fact that growth and competition traits directly affect mean ramet size and number of ramets, which are direct components of population biomass. In contrast, architectural and allocation traits determine spatial distribution of biomass; in the long run, this also affects population size, but its net effect is more likely to be mediated by other traits. Such differences in how traits affect plant performance are likely to have implications for interspecific interactions and community structure, as well as on the interpretation and usefulness of single trait optimality models. [source]


    Intraclonal variation in defence substances and palatability: a study on Carex and lemmings

    OIKOS, Issue 3 2004
    Kari Anne Bråthen
    Clonal sedges consist of integrated ramets at different development stages. Many of these sedges are important food for herbivores, yet differences in herbivore preferences and defence allocation between ramet development stages have not previously been evaluated. In this study we investigated intraclonal ramet variation in level of plant defence and nutrient compounds and intraclonal ramet preferences by lemmings (Lemmus trimucronatus) in field samples of a rhizomatous sedge (Carex stans). Plant defence was measured as the level of proteinase inhibitor activity (PIA) and the ratio of PIA to soluble plant proteins (SPP), whereas plant nutrients were measured as the level of soluble plant sugars (SPS) and SPP. Flowering ramets generally had a higher content of defence compared to vegetative ramets, which is consistent with the optimal defence theory predicting that defence compounds are allocated to the ramet stage of the highest fitness value. Compared to vegetative ramets, the flowering ramets had a lower content of SPP and a higher content of SPS. The lemmings showed preference differences between the ramet development stages, and to a large extent the ramet content of defence compounds and nutrient compounds covaried with these preferences in the predicted way. This study shows that defence allocation between ramet development stages of the clonal sedge Carex conforms to predictions of the optimal defence theory. [source]


    Allocation of resources within mountain birch canopy after simulated winter browsing

    OIKOS, Issue 1 2000
    Kari Lehtilä
    As a response to browsing, birches are known to produce fewer but larger, more nutritious leaves, with enhanced palatability for herbivores. We simulated winter browsing in ramets of mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) to find out whether it decreases subsequent foliage biomass and alters the number and type of shoots. After removal of a considerable proportion of buds (up to 35%) in late winter, the birches were able to compensate for the lost leaf biomass in the following summer; there were no differences in total leaf biomass between winter-clipped and control ramets. This indicates that foliage growth was limited by the total amount of stored resources, not by the number of buds. Depending on the position of the buds removed, different mechanisms were responsible for the compensation. After removal of apical buds, the number of leaves decreased significantly but leaves were larger than in control ramets. Removal of the same mass of basal buds , containing similar amount of carbohydrates and proteins as in the treatment removing apical buds , activated dormant buds, especially in apical locations, so that leaf number was similar as in the controls; consequently, size of individual leaves increased only slightly. Thus, while the total leaf biomass in a tree seems to be limited by resources from source organs, the distribution of resources among different canopy sections is controlled by their relative sink strengths. In terms of leaf biomass, apical parts are able to compensate for bud loss by increasing shoot number, basal parts only by increasing leaf size. [source]


    Clonal integration supports the expansion from terrestrial to aquatic environments of the amphibious stoloniferous herb Alternanthera philoxeroides

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 3 2009
    N. Wang
    Abstract Effects of clonal integration on land plants have been extensively studied, but little is known about the role in amphibious plants that expand from terrestrial to aquatic conditions. We simulated expansion from terrestrial to aquatic habitats in the amphibious stoloniferous alien invasive alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) by growing basal ramets of clonal fragments in soils connected (allowing integration) or disconnected (preventing integration) to the apical ramets of the same fragments submerged in water to a depth of 0, 5, 10 or 15 cm. Clonal integration significantly increased growth and clonal reproduction of the apical ramets, but decreased both of these characteristics in basal ramets. Consequently, integration did not affect the performance of whole clonal fragments. We propose that alligator weed possesses a double-edged mechanism during population expansion: apical ramets in aquatic habitats can increase growth through connected basal parts in terrestrial habitats; however, once stolon connections with apical ramets are lost by external disturbance, the basal ramets in terrestrial habitats increase stolon and ramet production for rapid spreading. This may contribute greatly to the invasiveness of alligator weed and also make it very adaptable to habitats with heavy disturbance and/or highly heterogeneous resource supply. [source]