, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 27–34

Seasonal control over allocation to reproduction in a tussock-forming and a rhizomatous species of Eriophorum in central Alaska

  • A. F. Mark
  • F. S. ChapinIII
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00377194

Cite this article as:
Mark, A.F. & Chapin, F.S. Oecologia (1989) 78: 27. doi:10.1007/BF00377194


The evergreen tussock-forming Eriophorum vaginatum revealed consistently earlier (c. 1 moth) phenology and greater biomass per tiller than the summergreen rhizomatous E. scheuchzeri in all four components measured (vegetative and reproductive shoots and stems) under the same climatic regime in central Alaska over one growing season. Greatest allocation to vegetative shoot growth occurred in mid-summer in both species. The tussock growth form of E. vaginatum raised shoot meristems 25–30 cm above the soil surface, where temperatures were warmer, permitting shoot growth to begin earlier in spring and continue longer in autumn than in E. scheuchzeri. Consequently, E. vaginatum was able to allocate reserves to reproductive tillers primarily in autumn and early spring, times when minimal reserves were required for vegetative growth. By contrast, the rhizomatous E. scheuchzeri had a more constrained growing season, and allocation to reproduction coincided with allocation to vegetative growth. For this reason, reserves were drawn down more fully in mid-summer in E. scheuchzeri than in E. vaginatum. The more conservative use of nutrient stores in E. vaginatum may relate to its great longevity, reduced allocation to reproduction (including low seedling recruitment), and relatively stable habitats. The mid-seasonal pulse of allocation to reproduction in E. scheuchzeri appears viable only in relatively fertile disturbed sites, where the soil nutrient supply is sufficient to support simultaneous allocation to vegetative growth and reproduction.

Key words

Eriophorum vaginatum E. scheuchzeri Growth Flowering Phenology 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. F. Mark
    • 1
  • F. S. ChapinIII
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Insitute of Aretic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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