The effect of resource integration on fitness related traits in a clonal dune perennial, Hydrocotyle bonariensis
- Cite this article as:
- Evans, J.P. Oecologia (1991) 86: 268. doi:10.1007/BF00317540
- 114 Downloads
The costs and benefits of resource integration in Hydrocotyle bonariensis were examined by comparing severed and intact clones grown across multiple resource gradients. Basipetal movement of water, nitrogen and photosynthates was demonstrated to occur between two rhizome branch systems interconnecting hundreds of ramets within a clone. Hydrocotyle clones of this size and larger have been shown to span highly patchy and unpredictable resource conditions in coastal dune environments. The extensive movement of water and nitrogen to portions of a clone deficient in these resources, resulted in a significant net benefit to the clone in terms of fitness-related traits: total biomass, ramet proliferation and seed production. The translocation of photosynthates across light gradients allowed for sexual reproduction and clonal expansion in the shade although this incurred a net cost to the clone in terms of ramet and seed production.