Vegetatio

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 25–32

Morphology and growth of stolons and rhizomes in three clonal grasses, as affected by different light supply

  • Ming Dong
  • Maria Grazia Pierdominici
Article

Abstract

In this paper, the hypothesis is tested that, in clonal grasses producing stolons and/or rhizomes, stolons always show a higher morphological plasticity than rhizomes in response to variation in light availability.Agrostis stolonifera (a stoloniferous grass),Holcus mollis (a rhizomatous grass) andCynodon dactylon (a grass forming both stolons and rhizomes), were grown in pots and subjected to three levels of light intensities. Both stolons and rhizomes branched more intensively under higher light levels. Irrespective of species, stolons consisted of longer internodes under lower light levels, while rhizome morphology did not respond significantly. Biomass partitioning to rhizomes was lower under lower light intensities while partitioning to stolons was not affected. Rhizomes usually had more dormant buds than did stolons. Our results suggest that stolons serve primarily as foraging organs for light, whereas the main function of rhizomes is storage of meristem and carbohydrates, irrespective of whether the grass species involved produces both rhizomes and stolons or only one type of spacer.

Key words

Bud bank Clonality Foraging Light intensity Rhizome Stolon 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bell, A. D. 1984. Dynamic morphology: a contribution to plant population ecology. pp. 48–65. In: Dirzo, R. & Sarukhan, J. (eds), Perspectives on plant population ecology. Sinauer, Sunderland.Google Scholar
  2. Cook, R. E. 1985. Growth and development in clonal plant population. pp. 259–296. In: Jackson, J. B. C., Buss, L. W. & Cook, R. E. (eds), Population biology and evolution of clonal organisms. Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  3. de Kroon, H. & Hutchings, M. J. (in press) Morphological plasticity in clonal plants: The foraging concept reconcidered. Journal of Ecology.Google Scholar
  4. de Kroon, H. & Knops, J. 1990. Habitat exploration through morphological plasticity in two chalk grassland perennials. Oikos 59: 39–49.Google Scholar
  5. de Kroon, H. & Schieving, F. 1991. Resource allocation patterns as a function of clonal morphology: a general model applied to foraging clonal plant. Journal of Ecology 79: 519–530.Google Scholar
  6. Dong, M. 1993. Morphological plasticity of the clonal herbLamiastrum galeobdolon (L.) Ehrend. & Polatschek in response to partial shading. New Phytol. 124: 291–300.Google Scholar
  7. Dong, M. & de Kroon, H. 1994. Plasticity in morphology and biomass allocation inCynodon dactylon, a grass species forming stolons and rhizomes. Oikos 70: 99–106.Google Scholar
  8. Evans, J. P. 1992. The effect of local resource availability and clonal integration on ramet functional morphology inHydrocotyle bonariensis. Oecologia 89: 265–276.Google Scholar
  9. Geber, M. 1989. Interplay of morphology and development on size inequality: APolygonum greenhouse study. Ecological Monographs 59: 267–288.Google Scholar
  10. Grime, J. P. 1979. Plant strategies and vegetation processes. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.Google Scholar
  11. Grime, J. P., Hodgson, J. G. & Hunt, R. 1988. Comparative Plant Ecology. Unwin Hyman, London.Google Scholar
  12. Hanna, W. W. 1992.Cynodon dactylon. pp. 100–102. In: 'tMannetje, L. & Jones, R. M. (eds), Plant resources of south-east asia. No 4: Forages. Pudoc Scientific Publishers, Wageningen.Google Scholar
  13. Hartnett, D. C. 1990. Size-dependent allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction in four clonal composites. Oecologia 84: 254–259.Google Scholar
  14. Hutchings, M. J. & de Kroon, H. 1994. Foraging in plants: the role of morphological plasticity in resource acquisition. Advance in Ecological Research 25: 159–238.Google Scholar
  15. Hutchings, M. J. & Slade, A. J. 1988. Morphological plasticity, foraging and integration in clonal perennial herbs. pp. 83–109. In: Davy, A. J., Hutchings, M. J. & Watkinson, A. R. (eds). Plant population ecology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  16. Jerling, L. 1988. Clonal dynamics, population dynamics and vegetation pattern ofGlaux maritima on a Baltic sea shore meadow. Vegetatio 74: 171–185.Google Scholar
  17. Kik, C., van Andel, J., Joenje, w. & Bijlsma, R. 1990. Colonization and differentiation in the clonal perennialAgrostis stolonifera. Journal of Ecology 78: 949–961.Google Scholar
  18. Leakey, R. R. B. 1981. Adaptive biology of vegetatively regenerating weeds. Advances in Applied Biology 6: 57–90.Google Scholar
  19. Mitchell, P. L. & Woodward, F. I. 1988. Responses of three woodland herbs to reduced photosynthetically active radiation and low red to far-red ratio in shade. Journal of Ecology 76: 807–825.Google Scholar
  20. Ovington, J. D. & Scurfield, G. 1965. Biological flora of the British Isles:Holcus mollis L. Journal of Ecology 44: 272–280.Google Scholar
  21. Potvin, C., Lechowicz, M. J. & Tardif, S. 1990. The statistic analysis of ecophysiological response curves obtained from experiments involving repeated measure. Ecology 71: 1389–1400.Google Scholar
  22. Rawal, K. M. & Harlan, J. R. 1971. The evolution of growth habit inCynodon L. C. Rich (Gramineae). Illinois State Academy Science 64: 110–118.Google Scholar
  23. Samson, D. A. & Werk, K. S. 1986. Size-dependent effects in the analysis of reproductive effort in plants. The American Naturalist 127: 667–680.Google Scholar
  24. SAS. 1985. SAS/STAT guide for personal computers, version 6 Edition. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.Google Scholar
  25. Slade, A. J. & Hutchings, M. J. 1987. The effect of light intensity on foraging the clonal herbGlechoma hederacea. Journal of Ecology 75: 639–650.Google Scholar
  26. Sokal, R. R. & Rohlf, F. J. 1981. Biometry. W. H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  27. Sutherland, W. J. & Stillman, R. A. 1988. The foraging tactics of plants. Oikos 52: 239–244.Google Scholar
  28. Thompson, L. 1993. The influence of natural canopy density on the growth of white clover,Trifolium repens. Oikos 67: 321–324.Google Scholar
  29. Weiner, J. 1988. The influence of competition on plant reproduction. pp. 228–245. In: Lovett Doust, J. & Lovett Doust, L. (eds), Plant reproductive ecology—pattern and strategies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  30. White, J. 1979. The plant as a metapopulation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 10: 109–45.Google Scholar
  31. Williams, E. D. 1971. Effects of light intensity, photoperiod and nitrogen on the growth of seedlings ofAgropyron repens (L.) Beauv. andAgrostis gigantea Roth. Weed Research 11: 159–170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Dong
    • 1
  • Maria Grazia Pierdominici
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of plant Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Botany and EcologyUniversity of CamerinoItaly

Personalised recommendations