Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 125, Issue 5, pp 631–641 | Cite as

Impact of soil water chemistry on the apparent sex ratio of the flowering ramets of the dioecious plant Myrica gale var. tomentosa

  • Inoue Mizuki
  • Atsushi Kume
  • Masaaki Chiwa
  • Yoshitoshi Uehara
  • Kiyoshi Ishida
Regular Paper


We determined whether the apparent (M/Fl) sex ratio (male ramets/flowering ramets) and apparent reproductive ramet ratio (Fl/Li ratio; flowering ramets/living ramets) in 15 Myrica gale var. tomentosa populations varied with dissolved total nitrogen, dissolved total phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, or pH in the soil water. Our aim was to define the environmental factors affecting the M/Fl sex ratio and Fl/Li ratio of the populations. We also examined the habitat conditions of these populations by analyzing soil water chemistry and water dynamics. In 2007, 3 of the 15 populations had no females. The remaining 12 had significantly male-biased (M/Fl sex ratio = 0.59–0.97). Although we could not explain the absence of females by the current potassium levels alone, as potassium increased, so did the M/Fl sex ratio. As nitrogen increased and potassium decreased, Fl/Li ratio decreased. Our soil water chemistry analyses suggested that the potassium supply by soil surface erosion from flooding and the inflow of anthropogenic nitrogen were the important factors influencing the M/Fl sex ratio and Fl/Li ratio. Nitrogen management would be important in one of the endangered populations where inflow of nitrogen was the highest among 15 habitats.


Male-biased Apparent reproductive ramet ratio Nitrogen Isotope Potassium Wetlands 



The authors thank those responsible for all the study sites for permitting our field work; T. Ohmori, M. Maruyama, R. Maruyama, and Y. Konno for their advice on field work; M. Yamasaki for his advice on statistical analysis; and H. Satake for his advice on isotope analysis. This research was supported partly by a Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B; No. 18380099), and Young Scientists (No. 19780119).

Supplementary material

10265_2012_481_MOESM1_ESM.tif (9.8 mb)
Ordination of the habitats based on concentrations of soil water chemistry by PCA. Habitats are shown as numbers of Table 2. Arrows represent soil water chemistry. Abbreviations which were not mentioned in the Materials and Methods are as follows: TP, total phosphorous; PTP, particle total phosphorus; DON, dissolved organic nitrogen. For TP analysis, soil water was digested in potassium peroxodisulfate (K2S2O8) and its TP content was measured by using molybdenum blue (ascorbic acid) absorptiometry (Shimadzu UV mini-1240). PTP was calculated by subtracting DTP from TP. DON was calculated by subtracting DTN from total nitrogen, which was measured using ultraviolet absorptiometry after digesting in potassium peroxodisulfate (NaOH, K2S2O8). (TIFF 10058 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inoue Mizuki
    • 1
  • Atsushi Kume
    • 2
  • Masaaki Chiwa
    • 2
  • Yoshitoshi Uehara
    • 2
  • Kiyoshi Ishida
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biological EnvironmentAkita Prefectural UniversityAkitaJapan
  2. 2.Kyushu University ForestFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life ScienceHirosaki UniversityHirosakiJapan

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