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In European floras Cirsium palustre (L.) Scop. usually is classified as a biennial and monocarpic species. The value of this classification was examined in a population growing in a spring area in Jutland, Denmark. It was possible to describe five ontogenetic states, i.e. life-states, in the population, the seed state excluded. Each state normally lasted for one growing season. Therefore the flowering state was generally not reached until in the fifth growing season. Observation on mortality revealed that seedlings were exposed to an extremely high death risk. However, in the other vegetative life states the death risk was rather low and constant.
Holarctic Ecology © 1985 Nordic Society Oikos