, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 51–62 | Cite as

Clonal organization of populations of Asarum europaeum and Maianthemum bifolium in contrasting woodland habitats

  • Bożenna Czarnecka


Populations of two rhizomatous species, Asarum europaeum (asarabacca) and Maianthemum bifolium (May lily), were examined in two, and four forest habitats respectively, in the Roztocze National Park (south-eastern Poland). May lily populations were studied in habitats: the Carpathian beechwood, upland mixed fir forest, subboreal moist mixed coniferous forest and bog-alder forest. Asarabacca was studied in two habitats: beechwood and Scots pine community (an 80-year-old plantation). In both the species studied intra- and inter-populational differences of the size of genets in terms of above- and below-ground parts of individuals as well as the biomass and area occupied were observed. In May lily populations the greatest mean number of shoots per genet was found in the fir forest (11.62±3.29), a value almost twice as great as that in the moist coniferous forest and nearly three times greater than in the bog-alder forest. Total rhizome length was also the greatest in the fir forest (351.9±98.7 cm) followed by moist coniferous forest, beechwood and alder forest habitats. In all populations of May lily a greater part of total dry weight biomass is in below-ground organs. The greatest biomass value of a genet was found in the fir forest (4.275 g), the smallest in the bog-alder forest (0.110 g). All populations differed significantly in terms of leaf area, leaf length (with the exception of fir forest and beechwood habitats where the values were the greatest), and leaf width (excluding moist coniferous and bog-alder forests which had the smallest values). In the case of asarabacca, both the mean number of ramets per genet (3.36±0.45 vs. 2.49±0.20) and total rhizome length (40.3±6.4 cm vs. 21.1±1.8 cm) were greater in the beechwood habitat than in the pine community. In the first population genets had 3–5 times greater the total biomass of those from the pine community. Only genets of the latter had proportionately more dry weight biomass in above-ground parts. It seems to be correlated with greater rhizome dieback and disintegration of genets into smaller units. Both populations were significantly different in terms of all examined parameters of leaves. Genets of both the species studied were found to have their own structure of developmental phases that often differed for shoots and rhizomes.

Key words

Age structure Asarabacca Asarum europaeum Biomass allocation Clonal plants Genets. Maianthemum bifolium May lily Ramets Size structure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AngevineM. W. 1983. Variations in the demography of natural populations of the wild strawberries Fragaria vesca and F. virginiana. J. Ecol. 71: 959–974.Google Scholar
  2. BarkhamJ. P. 1980. Population dynamics of the wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus). I. Clonal growth, seed production, mortality and the effect of density. J. Ecol. 68: 607–633.Google Scholar
  3. BarkhamJ. P. & HanceC. E. 1982. Population dynamics of the wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus). III. Implications of a computer model of 1000 years of population change. J. Ecol. 70: 323–344.Google Scholar
  4. BernardJ. M. 1976. The life history and population dynamics of shoots of Carex rostrata. J. Ecol. 64: 1045–1048.Google Scholar
  5. BishopG. F., DavyA. J. and JefferiesR. L. 1978. Demography of Hieracium pilosella in a Breck grassland. J. Ecol. 66: 615–630.Google Scholar
  6. CainM. L. 1990. Models of clonal growth in Solidago altissima. J. Ecol. 78: 27–46.Google Scholar
  7. CainM. L., PacalaS. W. & SilanderJ. A.Jr. 1991. Stochastic simulation of clonal growth in the goldenrod. Solidago altissima. Occologia 88: 477–485.Google Scholar
  8. CzarneckaB. 1978. Geobotanical characteristics of the Jarugi forest reserve in Central Roztocze. Ann. Univ. Maria Curie-Sklodowska s. C 33: 309–331.Google Scholar
  9. Czarnecka, B. 1985. Response of Maianthemum bifolium (L.) F. W. Schm. populations to different conditions of forest ecosystems and their ecotones. Ph.D. Thesis. Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. Lublin.Google Scholar
  10. CzarneckaB. 1986. Ecodiagrams of common species of the forest herb layer in the Roztocze National Park. Acta Soc. Bot. Poloniac 55: 429–466.Google Scholar
  11. CzarneckaB. 1989. The effect of morphological-developmental properties of individuals on spatial organization of Maianthemum bifolium (L.) F. W. Schmidt populations. Ekol. Pol. 37: 191–208.Google Scholar
  12. CzarneckaB. 1995. Biology and Ecology of the Isolated Populations of Senecio rivularis (Waldst. et Kit.) DC. and Senecio umbrosus Waldst. et Kit. Maria Curic-Skłodowska University Publishers. Lublin.Google Scholar
  13. ErikssonO. 1988. Ramet behaviour and population growth in the clonal herb Potentialla anserina. J. Ecol. 76: 522–536.Google Scholar
  14. ErikssonO. 1993. Dynamics of genets in clonal plants. Trends Ecol. Evol. 8: 313–316.Google Scholar
  15. FalińskaK. 1982. The biology of Mercurialis perennis L. polycormones. Acta Soc. Bot. Poloniae 51: 127–148.Google Scholar
  16. FalińskaK. 1985. The demography of coenopopulations of forest herbs. In: WhiteJ. (ed.). The Population Structure of Vegetation. Dr Junk Publishers. Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  17. FalińskaK. 1986. Demography of Iris pseudoacorus L. populations in abandoned meadows. Ekol. Pol. 34: 583–613.Google Scholar
  18. FalińskaK. 1991. Plant Demography in Vegetation Succession. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  19. FalińskaK. 1995. Genet disintegration in Filipendula ulmaria: consequences for population dynamics and vegetation succession. J. Ecol. 83: 9–21.Google Scholar
  20. GatsukL. E., SmirnovaO. V., VorontzovaL. T., ZaugolnovaL. B. & ZhukovaL. A. 1980. Age states of plants of various growth forms: a review. J. Ecol. 68: 675–693.Google Scholar
  21. GrimeJ. P. 1979. Plant Strategies and Vegetation Processes. John Wiley and Son. Chichester.Google Scholar
  22. HarperJ. L. 1977. Population Biology of Plants. Academic Press. London.Google Scholar
  23. HarperJ. L. 1981. The population biology of modular organisms. In: MayR. (ed.). Theoretical Ecology. Blackwell. Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. HartnettD. C. & BazzazF. A. 1985. The genet and ramet population dynamics of Solidago canadensis in an abandoned field. J. Ecol. 73: 407–413.Google Scholar
  25. HuntR. & NichollsA. O. 1986. Stress and the coarse control of growth and root-shoot partitioning in herbaceous plants. Oikos 47: 149–158.Google Scholar
  26. HuntR., NichollsA. D. & FathyS. A. 1987. Growth and root-shoot partitioning in eighteen British grasses. Oikos 50: 53–59.Google Scholar
  27. IzdebskiK., KimsaT., KozakK., MichnaE., PopiołekZ., StaczekA., & ZinkiewiczA. 1977. Influence of habitats of two forest ecosystems on productivity of pine stands in central Roztocze. Ekol. Pol. 25: 89–105.Google Scholar
  28. JacksonJ. B. C., BussL. W. & CookR. E. (eds.) 1986. Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Organisms. Yale University Press. New Haven, CT.Google Scholar
  29. KikC., VanAndelJ., VanDeldenW., JoenjeW. & BijlsmaR. 1990. Colonization and differentiation in the clonal perennial Agrostis stolonifera. J. Ecol. 78: 949–961.Google Scholar
  30. KlimešL. 1992. The clone architecture of Rumex alpinus (Polygonaceae). Oikos 63: 402–409.Google Scholar
  31. Lovett DoustL. 1981a. Population dynamics and local specialization in clonal perennial (Ranunculus repens). I. The dynamics of ramets in contrasting habitats. J. Ecol. 69: 743–755.Google Scholar
  32. Lovett DoustL. 1981b. Population dynamics and local specialization in a clonal perennial (Ranunculus repens). II. The dynamics of leaves, and reciprocal transplant-replant experiment. J. Ecol. 69: 757–768.Google Scholar
  33. Lovett DoustL. 1987. Population dynamics and local specialization in clonal perennial (Ranunculus repens). III. Responses to light and nutrient supply. J. Ecol. 75: 555–568.Google Scholar
  34. Lovett DoustJ. & EatonG. W. 1982. Demographic aspects of flower and fruit production in bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris L. Am. J. Bot. 69: 1156–1164.Google Scholar
  35. NewellS. J., SolbrigT. O. & KincaidD. T. 1981. Studies on the population biology of the genus Viola. III. The demography of Viola blanda and Viola pallens. J. Ecol. 69: 997–1016.Google Scholar
  36. NobleJ. C., BellA. D. & HarperJ. L. 1979. The population biology of plants with clonal growth. I. The morphology and structural demography of Carex arenaria. J. Ecol. 67: 983–1008.Google Scholar
  37. PowelsonR. A. & LieffersV. J. 1992. Effect of light and nutrients on biomass allocation in Calamagrostis canescens. Ecography 15: 31–36.Google Scholar
  38. RabotnovT. A. 1969. On coenopupulations of perennial herbaceous plants in natural coenoses. Vegetatio 19: 87–95.Google Scholar
  39. SarukhanJ. & HarperJ. L. 1973. Studies on plant demography: Ranunculus repens L., R. bulbosus L. and R. acris L. I. Population flux and survivorship. J. Ecol. 61: 675–716.Google Scholar
  40. SchmidB. & BazzazF. A. 1987. Clonal integration and population structure in perennials: effects of severing rhizome connections. Ecology 68: 2016–2022.Google Scholar
  41. SmirnovaO. V., ZaugolnovaL. B. & ErmakovaI. M. 1976. Plant Coenopopulations. Science. Moscow.Google Scholar
  42. SolbrigO. T., NewellS. J. & KincaidD. T. 1980. The population of the genusViola. I. The demography of Viola sororia. J. Ecol. 68: 521–546.Google Scholar
  43. VanGroenendaelJ. & deKroonH. (eds) 1990. Clonal Growth in Plants: Regulation and Function. SPB Academic Publishing. The Hague.Google Scholar
  44. WatsonM. A. 1984. Developmental constraints: effect on population growth and pattern of resource allocation in a clonal plant. Am. Nat. 123: 411–426.Google Scholar
  45. WhiteJ. 1979. The plant as a metapopulation. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 10: 109–145.Google Scholar
  46. WhiteJ. 1984. Plant metamerism. In: DirzoR. and SarukhanJ. (eds.). Perspectives on Plant Population Ecology. Sinauer Associates. Sunderland.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bożenna Czarnecka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Institute of BiologyMaria Curie-Skłodowska UniversityLublinPoland

Personalised recommendations