Oecologia

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 238–245

Nonstructural carbohydrate allocation following different frequencies of simulated browsing in three semi-arid shrubs

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00333256

Cite this article as:
Van der Heyden, F. & Stock, W.D. Oecologia (1995) 102: 238. doi:10.1007/BF00333256

Abstract

Nonstructural carbohydrate allocation patterns in response to different frequencies of simulated browsing (leaf and twig removal) were studied in the following semi-arid shrubs: Osteospermum sinuatum, a dwarf deciduous shrub, Pteronia pallens, a dwarf evergreen shrub, and Ruschia spinosa, a dwarf leaf-succulent shrub. Simulated browsing at all frequencies resulted in the elevation, or had no effect, on total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) concentrations of O. sinuatum plant parts, and resulted in the decrease in TNC concentrations of R. spinosa plant parts. The responses of P. pallens were intermediate with elevations as well as declines in TNC concentrations of plant parts measured in response to various clipping frequencies. At the low frequency of simulated browsing (every 26 weeks) elevations in plant TNC content were measured in the two non-succulent shrubs O. sinuatum and P. pallens. It was concluded that the overcompensation with respect to TNC accumulation observed in the two non-succulent species represents one of the ways in which excess photosynthate is utilized by browsed shrubs with a limited regiowth potential. Simulated browsing was the least detrimental with respect to biomass production to the non-succulent O. sinuatum and P. pallens, and most injurious to the leaf-succulent shrub, R. spinosa. The observed TNC allocation patterns could not adequately explain the variation among species in the production of new growth and it was concluded that some factor(s) other than the carbon resource was limiting regrowth.

Key words

Browsing responses Semi-arid shrubs Nonstructural carbohydrate accumulation Regrowth 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Roodeplaat Grassland Institute, c/o Department of BotanyUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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