, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 291–296 | Cite as

Population niche structure

Differential response of Abutilon theophrasti progeny to resource gradients
  • K. Garbutt
  • F. A. Bazzaz
Original Papers


The response of twenty maternal families of the annual Abutilon theophrasti to two resource gradients, nutrient and light, was investigated. The structure of the population niche for both biomass and reproductive output was found to be quite different on the two gradients. On the light gradient there was a great diversity of responses among the families while on the nutrient gradient the families responded in a similar manner. On both gradients the plants showed a significant genotype/environment interaction. Three strategies for the production of seed variation have been proposed-all offspring are adapted to the same restricted environment, each offspring of an individual is adapted to a particular environment somewhat different thant that of its siblings, and all the offspring are able to grow in a wide range of environments. We found evidence for all three of these strategies amongst the families. The range of responses seen amongst families (of the same species) in this study was as broad as that found in previous studies among species of the old field annual community to which Abutilon theophrasti belongs. This has significant implications to the nature of competitive interactions and to the evolution of differential resource use in plant populations.

Key words

Abutilon Biomass Reproduction Light Nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Garbutt
    • 1
  • F. A. Bazzaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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