, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 254–259 | Cite as

Size-dependent allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction in four clonal composites

  • D. C. Hartnett
Original Papers


Populations of Silphium speciosum, Vernonia baldwinii, Solidago canadensis and Pityopsis graminifolia were studied to determine whether biomass allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction and the balance between them were size-dependent and whether interpopulation differences in allocation patterns could be predicted from differences in population size distributions. All four species showed strong linear relationships between inflorescence mass and vegetative mass with negative y-intercepts. As a result, sexual reproductive effort (SRE) was a monotonically increasing function of ramet size. Genet size was a poor predictor of SRE. In each species, the regression parameters of these relationships differed significantly between burned and unburned habitats indicating size-independent interpopulation differences in patterns of reproductive effort as well as sizedependent effects. Interpopulation variation in vegetative reproductive effort (VRE) was greater than variation in SRE, but neither VRE nor the pattern of partitioning of VRE among daughter rhizomes showed significant relationships to plant size.

Key words

Reproductive allocation Life history Vegetative reproduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Hartnett
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of BiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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