, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 265–276 | Cite as

The effect of local resource availability and clonal integration on ramet functional morphology in Hydrocotyle bonariensis

  • Jonathan P. Evans
Original Papers


Within a physiologically integrated clone, the structure and functioning of an individual ramet is determined by: 1) the response of that ramet to its local environment and 2) its response to resource integration within the clone. In a multifactorial experiment, Hydrocotyle bonariensis ramets were grown in limiting resource environments with and without the benefit of basipetal resource movement from another branch of the clone. Ramets were analyzed for their morphological responses to variation in local light, water and nitrogen availability and to the superimposed effect of resource integration on these conditions. The expression of ramet morphology, from induction to development, was highly plastic in response to variable local resource availability. Resource integration changed a ramet's local response in a variety of ways depending on the resource(s) being translocated and the character involved. Among leaf characteristics (leaf weight, petiole height, blade area), resource translocation into the shade resulted in an enhancement of the local response. Similarly, the translocation of nitrogen and water generally increased clonal proliferation and sexual reproduction among ramets. In contrast, the translocation of water reversed the effect of local low water conditions on ramets by inhibiting root production. Some characters such as internode distance and leaf allometry were unaffected by integration. The maintenance of connections between ramets as a Hydrocotyle clone expands allows for resource sharing among widely separated ramets and can result in an integrated morpological response to a resource environment that is patchy in time and space.

Key words

Ramet morphology Clonal integration Hydrocotyle bonariensis Coastal dunes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan P. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke University Marine LaboratoryBeaufortUSA

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