Pattern of storage and regrowth in ragwort
- Cite this article as:
- Van Der Meijden, E., De Boer, N.J. & Van Der Veen-Van Wijk, C.A. Evolutionary Ecology (2000) 14: 439. doi:10.1023/A:1010985028360
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Ragwort plants were damaged experimentally by removing the whole shoot. Within about 1 month the original allocation pattern of biomass to root and shoot was reestablished to a large extent. If left undisturbed for a longer period, plant growth accelerated into compensatory growth. Intraspecific variation in storage and tolerance (shoot weight), 1 month after damage, was significant. We could not detect a trade-off between storage or tolerance and relative growth rate of control plants. Consequently there are no indications for costs involved in storage of resources or in tolerating damage. Although tolerance is thought to be dependent upon storage of resources, we detected no effect of storage on tolerance after one event of damage. Storage is genotype specific, but at the same time highly plastic. We hypothesize that the value of storage in ragwort only becomes evident after repeated disturbances. Competition, history of herbivory and change of season all affected storage radically.