The dynamics of plant populations: does the history of individuals matter?
2000 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 81, no 6, 1675-1684 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Historical events have been used to explain a wide range of phenomenaincluding geographical distributions of species, community diversity, and population structure.At the level of individuals, historical effects in which past conditions influence futureperformance are particularly likely to occur in long-lived organisms that store resourcesbetween seasons and that form organs months or years before their elaboration. Such carryovermechanisms have been documented in several perennial plant species, but the implicationsfor population processes are poorly known. In this study, I examine how the historyof individuals influences their future performance, population dynamics, and life cycle,structure in the long-lived herb Lathyrus vernus. Overall effects of plant history on populationdynamics, in terms of growth rate, reproductive values, stable stage distribution,and elasticities, are examined by comparing an ordinary first-order matrix model with asecond-order matrix model. In the latter, not only the present state of individuals, but alsotheir past state is allowed to influence future fate.The results demonstrate that the history of individuals is sometimes important in modelsof population dynamics. Plant size change over a one-year period was negatively correlatedamong time intervals. Addition of the previous year's stage in population models shiftedthe growth rate from positive (X = 1.010) to negative (X = 0.986) and increased theproportion of small established individuals in the stable stage distribution. If historicaleffects are due to a capacity to buffer environmental variation and regain size or state, asin L. vernus, then recruitment contributes less and stasis more to population growth thansuggested by ahistorical models. The presence of historical effects at the level of individuals,in any form, may have important consequences for population development and should beincluded in any interpretation of the life-cycle structure.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 81, no 6, 1675-1684 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-42119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-42119DiVA: diva2:70020