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Effects of light and water availability on shoot dynamics of the stoloniferous Linnaea borealis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Botany.
2006 (English)In: Ecoscience, ISSN 1195-6860, Vol. 13, no 3, 318-323 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many stoloniferous plant species have the ability to exploit resource-rich patches via plastic growth responses. The most efficient responses are shortened spacers and increased branching frequency. Here we experimentally investigate the ability of the stoloniferous plant Linnaea borealis to respond to patches of increased light intensity and reduced water availability in natural systems. The significance of contrasts between patches was also investigated. A three-level factorial design was used, with light, water availability, and site as the factors. Increased light intensity was achieved through mowing of the surrounding vegetation, and reduced water availability was achieved by placing wooden ledges under the stolons. The treatments were applied at three subarctic sites that differ in light conditions. Branching frequency, number of new meristems, average internode length, leaf area, and dry weight production were studied 14 months after the manipulations. Increased light intensity increased branching frequencies; the strongest effects were obtained at the site with a closed canopy. Average intemode length decreased 19% in response to increased light intensity. Root:shoot ratios decreased under increased light intensity and reduced water availability. A reduction in water availability alone did not affect any other investigated traits. We conclude that ramets of L. borealis are able to respond efficiently to small-scale variations in light intensity in natural systems, an ability of great importance for the performance of a prostrate species on shady forest floors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 13, no 3, 318-323 p.
Keyword [en]
branching frequency, clonal plant, division of labour, foraging, patch quality
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90897DOI: 10.2980/i1195-6860-13-3-318.1ISI: 000240960500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-90897DiVA: diva2:163413
Available from: 2003-10-08 Created: 2003-10-08 Last updated: 2011-06-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life History Strategies in Linnaea borealis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life History Strategies in Linnaea borealis
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

About 70% of the plant species in the temperate zone are characterised by clonal growth, clonal species are also in majority in the Arctic and Subarctic where they affect the structure and composition of the vegetation. It is therefore of great importance to increase our knowledge about clonal plants and their growth and life histories. I have investigated how ramets of the stoloniferous plant Linnaea borealis are affected by the naturally occurring variation in environmental factors, such as: light, nutrient and water availability. Moreover, I examined the seed set and how supplemental hand pollination affects seed set in L. borealis, and also investigated the significance of the apical meristem for shoot population fitness. All studies were performed under field conditions in northern Sweden in a Subarctic environment and most are experimental.

The results show that nutrient resorption from senescing leaves is not significantly affecting the growth and nutrient pools of the ramet. This implies that the growth of L. borealis ramets is not governed by micro-site resource availability. However, removal of light competition resulted in increased branching and number of lateral meristems produced, reduced growth, and decreased root:shoot ratio on a per ramet basis. Thus, ramets of L. borealis can efficiently exploit favourable light patches through plastic growth. Apical dominance exerts a significant effect on shoot population fitness and can be lost through rodent grazing. However, loss of apical dominance is dependent on the timing of grazing, if the apical meristem is removed early in the autumn the ramet can repair the loss until the next summer. If grazing occur during spring the dry weight and leaf area production is affected negatively. Seed production in L. borealis in the Abisko area varies between years and sites, and was unaffected by supplemental hand pollination treatment, implying that there is no lack of pollinator activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2003. 21 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 893
Keyword
Biology, Linnaea borealis, apex removal, apical dominance, clonal plant, hand pollination, matrix modelling, plant foraging, resorption efficiency, resorption proficiency, resource heterogeneity, shoot dynamics, Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3604 (URN)91-554-5754-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-10-31, The lecture hall, Dept. of Plant Ecology, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2003-10-08 Created: 2003-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Niva, MikaelSvensson, Brita

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