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Clonal Organization of Populations of Asarum europaeum and Maianthemum bifolium in Contrasting Woodland Habitats

Bożenna Czarnecka
Vegetatio
Vol. 125, No. 1 (Jul., 1996), pp. 51-62
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20048706
Page Count: 12
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Clonal Organization of Populations of Asarum europaeum and Maianthemum bifolium in Contrasting Woodland Habitats
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Abstract

Populations of two rhizomatous species, Asarum europaeum (asarabacca) and Maianthemum bifolium (May lily), were examined in two, and four forest habitats respectively, in the Roztocze National Park (south-eastern Poland). May lily populations were studied in habitats: the Carpathian beechwood, upland mixed fir forest, subboreal moist mixed coniferous forest and bog-alder forest. Asarabacca was studied in two habitats: beechwood and Scots pine community (an 80-year-old plantation). In both the species studied intra- and inter-populational differences of the size of genets in terms of above- and below-ground parts of individuals as well as the biomass and area occupied were observed. In May lily populations the greatest mean number of shoots per genet was found in the fir forest (11.62 ± 3.29), a value almost twice as great as that in the moist coniferous forest and nearly three times greater than in the bog-alder forest. Total rhizome length was also the greatest in the fir forest (351.9 ± 98.7 cm) followed by moist coniferous forest, beechwood and alder forest habitats. In all populations of May lily a greater part of total dry weight biomass is in below-ground organs. The greatest biomass value of a genet was found in the fir forest (4.275 g), the smallest in the bog-alder forest (0.110 g). All populations differed significantly in terms of leaf area, leaf length (with the exception of fir forest and beechwood habitats where the values were the greatest), and leaf width (excluding moist coniferous and bog-alder forests which had the smallest values). In the case of asarabacca, both the mean number of ramets per genet (3.36 ± 0.45 vs. 2.49 ± 0.20) and total rhizome length (40.3 ± 6.4 cm vs. 21.1 ± 1.8 cm) were greater in the beechwood habitat than in the pine community. In the first population genets had 3-5 times greater the total biomass of those from the pine community. Only genets of the latter had proportionately more dry weight biomass in above-ground parts. It seems to be correlated with greater rhizome dieback and disintegration of genets into smaller units. Both populations were significantly different in terms of all examined parameters of leaves. Genets of both the species studied were found to have their own structure of developmental phases that often differed for shoots and rhizomes.

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