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Patterns of Resource Allocation in a Dioecious Carex (Cyperaceae)

Lynda F. Delph, Ying Lu and Larry D. Jayne
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 80, No. 6 (Jun., 1993), pp. 607-615
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445429
Page Count: 9
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Patterns of Resource Allocation in a Dioecious Carex (Cyperaceae)
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Abstract

Allocation to vegetative growth and sexual reproduction was investigated throughout the growing season in the dioecious sedge, Carex picta, under natural conditions and following experimental manipulations. Measurements taken on unmanipulated plants showed that the sexes did not differ in the total amount of biomass they allocated to either growth or reproduction. The relatively equal investment in reproduction by the two sexes is contrary to other studies, the majority of which show greater investment in reproduction by females. Two features of the reproductive biology of C. picta may account for the equal investment: the fruit are relatively inexpensive because they are uniovulate and nonfleshy, and the stamens are relatively expensive because C. picta is wind pollinated. In contrast to the lack of differences in the amount of allocation, there were differences between the sexes in the timing of allocation to growth and reproduction: males allocated more to reproduction and less to growth up to the time of flowering, whereas females showed this pattern during the time of fruit maturation. Defoliation and inflorescence removal experiments showed that a trade-off within plants between growth and reproduction does exist. In addition, the defoliation experiment revealed a difference in the response of the two sexes: defoliated tillers on males showed a reduction in growth, whereas defoliated tillers on females did not. Overall, the data support the idea that differences in the timing of reproductive expenditure are as important as the amount of expenditure in determining many aspects of the life history strategies of the two sexes.

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