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Life History Trade-Offs in Amphibromus scabrivalvis (Poaceae): Allocation to Clonal Growth, Storage, and Cleistogamous Reproduction

Gregory P. Cheplick
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 82, No. 5 (May, 1995), pp. 621-629
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445420
Page Count: 9
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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.
Life History Trade-Offs in Amphibromus scabrivalvis (Poaceae): Allocation to Clonal Growth, Storage, and Cleistogamous Reproduction
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Abstract

Life history trade-offs among clonal growth, storage, and sexual reproduction were investigated in the perennial grass Amphibromus scabrivalvis in relation to soil nutrients. This species exhibits clonal growth by producing rhizomes and stores reserves in the form of basal corms; seeds are matured in cleistogamous spikelets on panicles enclosed within the leaf sheaths along each culm. Ten seed-derived genotypes (clones) were separated into 72 ramets and planted in the greenhouse. Control ramets received only water while the remainder received fertilizer applied every 2 wk. Twenty-four ramets were harvested per clone at 11, 20, and 26 wk. The dry mass of corms, rhizomes, roots, shoots, and seeds were recorded. Biomass partitioning to rhizomes provided a measure of carbon allocation to clonal growth, partitioning to corms provided a measure of allocation to storage, and partitioning to seeds provided a measure of allocation to sexual reproduction. Allocation to most organs was significantly influenced by clone identity; fertilizer significantly increased allocation to corms and seeds at 20 wk, but never affected rhizome allocation at any age. Corm allocation increased from 2% at 11 wk to 27% at 26 wk; rhizome allocation decreased from 10% at 11 wk to 3% at 26 wk. Significant negative relationships were detected for rhizome vs. seed and corm vs. rhizome allocation in fertilized clones at 20 wk. This suggests an age-dependent physiological life history trade-off between clonality and sexual reproduction and between clonality and storage. In contrast, a significant positive relationship was consistently noted for corm vs. seed allocation in fertilized and unfertilized clones at 20 and 26 wk. The absence of a trade-off between storage and sexual reproduction may indicate that these two processes are not necessarily mutually exclusive components of life history.

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