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The Growth, Distribution and Neighbour Relationships of Trifolium Repens in a Permanent Pasture: IV. Fine-Scale Biotic Differentiation

R. Turkington and John L. Harper
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Mar., 1979), pp. 245-254
DOI: 10.2307/2259348
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2259348
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Growth, Distribution and Neighbour Relationships of Trifolium Repens in a Permanent Pasture: IV. Fine-Scale Biotic Differentiation
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Abstract

(1) Ramets of Trifolium repens were sampled from sites in a field of permanent pasture dominated by a mosaic of Lolium perenne, Holcus lanatus, Cynosurus cristatus and Agrostis tenuis. After multiplication of the ramets in a glasshouse, they were transplanted back into the original swards in all combinations of clover `type' and site of origin. The pre-existing vegetation on the sites was either destroyed by herbicide or left as a control. (2) Clover `types' were also transplanted into experimental sown swards of the four grass species. (3) Differences were found in aggressiveness of the grass swards and species, and between the clover `type', and these were most clearly expressed in the growing swards. Most striking was a `principal diagonal effect', in which each clover `type' made most growth when transplanted back into its sward of origin--or into a pure stand of the grass that had dominated that sward. (4) This is interpreted as a micro-evolutionary response of clover to the diversifying selection imposed by a variety of grass neighbours, and is discussed in relation to the ecological significance of the outbreeding habit and `Sisyphean fitness'.

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