Seeds have often been emphasized in estimates of plant fitness because they are the units that carry genes to the next generation, disperse, and found new populations. We contend that clonal growth also needs to be considered when estimating fitness in clonal plants, regardless of whether fitness is measured from a genet or ramet perspective. Clonal growth affects genet fitness through both genet persistence and seed production. It affects ramet fitness through new ramet production, because both seeds and clonal propagants are considered offspring. The differential production of clonal propagants will contribute to fitness differences among individuals which may result in population-level changes in allele frequencies (i.e. microevolution). We describe a form of selection unique to clonal organisms, genotypic selection, that can result in evolution. Genotypic selection occurs when genotypically based traits are associated with differences in the rate of ramet production. It can lead to evolutionary change in quantitative trait means both directly and indirectly. It leads directly to change in the ramet population by increasing the proportion of ramets with more advantageous trait values. From the genet perspective, it leads indirectly to evolution within and among populations whenever significant portions of the genetic effect on a trait are inherited through seed. We argue that under most conditions, clonal growth will play a major role in the microevolution of clonal plants.
- clonal growth
- clonal selection
- genotypic selection
Authors have contributed equally to the ideas and preparation of this manuscript.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Abrahamson, W.G. (1980) Demography and vegetative reproduction. In O.T. Solbrig (ed.) Demography and Evolution in Plant Population. University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles, pp. 89–104.
Andrews, J.H. (1991) Comparative Ecology of Microorganisms and Macroorganisms. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Antonovics, J. and Ellstrand, N.C. (1984) Experimental studies of the evolutionary significance of sexual reproduction. 1. A test of the frequency-dependent selection hypothesis. Evolution 38, 103–115.
Augspurger, C.K. (1985) Demography and life history variation of Puya dasylirioides, a long-lived rosette in tropical sub-alpine bogs. Oikos 45, 341–352.
Baillieul, M., Selens, M. and Blust, R. (1996) Scope for growth and fitness in Daphnia magna in salinity-stressed conditions. Funct. Ecol. 10, 227–233.
Barnes, B.V. (1966) The clonal growth habit of American aspens. Ecology 47, 439–447.
Baudouin, L., Cao, T.V. and Gallais, A. (1995) Analysis of the genetic-effects for several traits in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) populations. 1. Population means. Theor. Appl. Genet. 90, 561–570
Brown, J.S. and Glaz, B. (2001) Analysis of resource allocation in final stage sugarcane clonal selection. Crop Sci. 41, 57–62.
Cain, M.L., Carson, W.P. and Root, R.B. (1991) Long-term suppression of insect herbivores increases the production and growth of Solidago altissima rhizomes. Oecologia 88, 251–257.
Cain, M.L. and Damman, H. (1997) Clonal growth and ramet performance in the woodland herb, Asarum canadense. J. Ecol. 85, 883–897.
Cain, M.L., Damman, H. and Muir, A. (1998) Seed dispersal and the Holocene migration of woodland herbs. Ecol. Monographs 68, 325–347.
Cheplick, G.P. (1995) Genotypic variation and plasticity of clonal growth in relation to nutrient availability in Amphibromus scabrivalvis. J. Ecol. 83, 459–468.
Cook, R.E. (1979) Asexual reproduction: a further consideration. Am. Nat. 113, 769–772.
Cook, R.E. (1985) Growth and development in clonal plant populations. In J.B.C. Jackson, L.W. Buss and R.E. Cook (eds) Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Organisms. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp. 259–296.
de Kroon, H., Hara, T. and Kwant, R. (1992) Size hierarchies of shoots and clones in clonal herb monocultures: do clonal and non-clonal plants compete differently? Oikos 63, 410–419.
de Kroon and Hutchings, M.J. (1995) Morphological plasticity in clonal plants: the foraging concept reconsidered. J. Ecol. 83, 143–152.
de Steven, D. (1989) Genet and ramet demography of Oenocarpus mapora ssp. mapora, a clonal palm of Panamanian tropical moist forest. J. Ecol. 77, 579–596.
Eckert, C.G. (1999) Clonal plant research: proliferation, integration, but not much evolution. Am. J. Bot. 86, 1649–1654.
Endler, J.A. (1986) Natural Selection in the Wild. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Ennos, R.A. (1985) The significance of genetic variation for root growth within a natural population of white clover (Trifolium repens). J. Ecol. 73, 615–624.
Eriksson, O. (1993) Dynamics of genets in clonal plants. Trends Ecol. Evol. 8, 313–316.
Erickson, O. and Jerling, L. (1990) Hierarchical selection and risk spreading in clonal plants. In J. van Groenendael and H. de Kroon (eds) Clonal Growth in Plants: Regulation and Function SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands, pp. 79–94.
Fagerström, T. (1992) The meristem—meristem cycle as a basis for defining fitness in clonal plants. Oikos 63, 449–453.
Falconer, D.S. and Mackay, T.F.C. (1996) Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. 4th edn. Long-mans, London, UK.
Fenner, M. (1985) Seed Ecology. Chapman and Hall, London.
Goldberg, D.E. (1988) Influence of plant phenology on the insect herbivore-bittercress interaction. Oecologia 77, 357–364.
Grace, J.B. (1993) The adaptive significance of clonal reproduction in angiosperms: an aquatic perspective. Aquat. Bot. 44, 159–180.
Grace, J.B. and Wetzel, R.G. (1981) Phenotypic and genotypic components of growth and reproduction in Typha latifolia: Experimental studies in marshes of differing successional maturity. Ecology 62, 789–801.
Grace, J.B. and Wetzel, R.G. (1982) Niche differentiation between two rhizomatous plant species: Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia. Can. J. Bot. 60, 46–57.
Harper, J.L. (1977) Population Biology of Plants. Academic Press, London.
Harper, J.L. (1980) Plant demography and ecological theory. Oikos 35, 244–253.
Harper, J.L. (1985) Modules, branches, and the capture of resources, In J.B.C. Jackson, L.W. Buss and R.E. Cook (eds) Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Organisms. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp. 1–33.
Harper, J.L. and White, J. (1974) The demography of plants. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 5, 419–463. Hartnett, D.C. (1990) Size-dependent allocation to sexual and vegetative reproduction in four clonal composites. Oecologia 84, 254–259.
Heisler, I.L. and Damuth, J. (1987) A method for analyzing selection in hierarchically structured populations. Am. Nat. 130, 582–602.
Holland, J.J., de la Torre, J.C., Clarke, D.K. and Duarte, E. (1991) Quantification of relative fitness and great adaptability of clonal populations of RNA viruses. J. Virol. 65, 2960–2967.
Hughes, D.J. (1992) Genotype-environment interactions and relative clonal fitness in marine bryozoans. J. Animal Ecol. 61, 291–306.
Janzen, D.H. (1977) What are dandelions and aphids? Am. Nat. 111, 586–589.
Jónsdóttir, I.S. and Watson, M.A. (1997) Extensive physiological integration: an adaptive trait in resource-poor environments? In H. de Kroon and J. van Groendael (eds) The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 109–136.
Kays, S. and Harper, J.L. (1974) The regulation of plant and tiller density in a grass sward. J. Ecol. 62, 97–105.
Kibota, T.T. and Lynch, M. (1996) Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coli. Nature 381, 694–696.
Klime“s, L., Klime”sovâ, J., Hendriks, R. and van Groenendael, J. (1997) Clonal plant architecture: a comparative analysis of form and function. In H. de Kroon and J. van Groenendael (eds). The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 1–29.
Lande, R. and Arnold, S.J. (1983) The measurement of selection on correlated traits. Evolution 37, 1210–1226.
Lerner, I.M. (1958) The Genetic Basis of Selection. John Wiley and Sons. Inc., New York. Maillette, L. (1992) Plasticity of modular reiteration in Potentilla anserina. J. Ecol. 80, 231–239.
Meyer, A.H. and Schmid, B. (1999) Seed dynamics and seedling establishment in the invading perennial Solidago altissima under experimental treatments. J. Ecol. 87, 28–41.
Meyer, G.A. and Root, R.B. (1993) Effects of herbivorous insects and soil fertility on reproduction of goldenrod. Ecology 74, 1117–1128.
Mogie, M. (1992) The Evolution of Asexual Reproduction in Plants. Chapman and Hall, London. Oborny, B. and Cain, M.L. ( 1997 ) Models of spatial spread and foraging in clonal plants. In H. de
Kroon and J. van Groenendael (eds) The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 155–183.
Paul, W.E. (1999) Fundamental Immunology. 4th edn. (Chap. 25 ) Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia.
Pedersen, B. and Tuomi, J. (1995) Hierarchical selection and fitness in modular and clonal organisms. Oikos 73, 167–180.
Pfrender, M.E. and Lynch, M. (2000) Quantitative genetic variation in Daphnia: temporal changes in genetic architecture. Evolution 54, 1502–1509.
Pollak, E., and Sabran, M. (1999) On the theory of partially inbreeding finite populations. VI. The survival probability of a two-locus allele combination when there is partial selfing. Math. Biosci. 159, 97–112.
Piquot, Y., Pratt, D., Valero, M., Cuguen, J., da Laguerie, P. and Vernet, P. (1998) Variation in sexual and asexual reproduction among young and old populations of the perennial macrophyte Sparganium erectum. Oikos 82, 139–148.
Pitelka, L.F. and Ashmun, J.W. (1985) Physiology and integration of ramets in clonal plants. In J.B.C. Jackson, L.W. Buss and R.E. Cook (eds) Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Organism. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp. 399–435.
Primack, R.B. and Kang, H. (1989) Measuring fitness and natural selection in wild plant populations. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 20, 367–396.
Pysek, P. (1997) Clonality and plant invasions: can a trait make a difference? In H. de Kroon and J. van Groenendael (eds) Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 405–427.
Rajewsky, K. (1993) The power of clonal selection. Nature 363, 208.
Rajewsky, K. (1996) Clonal selection and learning in the antibody system. Nature 381, 751–758.
Sackville Hamilton, N.R., Schmid, B. and Harper, J.L. (1987) Life-history concepts and the population biology of clonal organisms. Proc. Roy. Soc. Load. B 232, 35–57.
Sarukhän, J. (1974) Studies on plant demography: Ranunculus repens L., R. bulbosus., and R. acris L. II. Reproductive strategies and seed population dynamics. J. Ecol. 62, 151177.
Schellner, R.A., Newell, S.J. and Solbrig, O.T. (1982) Studies on the population biology of the genus Viola. IV. Spatial pattern of ramets and seedlings in three stoloniferous species. J. Ecol. 70, 273–290.
Schmid, B. (1990) Some ecological and evolutionary consequences of modular organization and clonal growth in plants. Evol. Trend. Plant. 4, 25–34.
Service, P.M. and Lenski, R.E. (1982) Aphid genotypes, plant phenotypes, and genetic diversity: A demographic analysis of experimental data. Evolution 36, 1276–1282.
Shumway, S.W. (1995) Physiological integration among clonal ramets during invasion of disturbance patches in a New England salt marsh. Ann. Bot. 76, 225–233.
Sigal, L.H. and Ron, Y. (1994) Immunology and Inflammation: Basic Mechanisms and Clincal Consequences. McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.
Silander, J.A. (1985a) The genetic basis of the ecological amplitude of Spartina patens. Il. Variance and correlation analysis. Evolution 39, 1034–1052.
Silander, J.A. (1985b) Microevolution in clonal plants. In J.B.C. Jackson, L.W. Buss and R.E. Cook (eds) Population Biology and Evolution of Clonal Organisms. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp. 107–153.
Silander, J.A. and Antonovics, J. (1979) The genetic basis of the ecological amplitude of Spartina patens. I. Morphometric and physiological traits. Evolution 33, 1114–1127.
Starfinger, U. and Stöcklin, J. (1996) I. Seed, pollen, and clonal dispersal and their role in structuring plant populations. Prog. Bot. 57, 336–355.
Strauss, S.Y. (1997) Floral characters link herbivores, pollinators, and plant fitness. Ecology 78, 1640–1645.
Sutherland, S. and Vickery, R.K., Jr. (1988) Trade-offs between sexual and asexual reproduction in the genus Mimulus. Oecologia 76, 330–335.
Totland, O. (1999) Effects of temperature on performance and phenotypic selection on plant traits in alpine Ranunculus acris. Oecologia 120, 242–251.
Tsarouhas, V., Kenney, W.A. and Zsuffa, L. (2001) Variation in freezing resistance during different phenological stages in some Populus and Salix clones: implications for clonal selection. Silvae Genetica 50, 54–63.
Tuomi, J. and Vuorisalo, T. (1989a) What arc the units of selection in modular organisms? Oikos 54, 227–233.
Tuomi, J. and Vuorisalo, T. (1989b) Hierarchical selection in modular organisms. Trends Ecol. Evol. 4, 209–213.
Via, S. and Shaw, A.J. (1996) Short-term evolution in the size and shape of pea aphids. Evolution, 50, 163–173.
Verburg, R. and Grava, D. (1998) Differences in allocation patterns in clonal and sexual offspring in a woodland pseudo-annual. Oecologia 115, 472–477.
Vuorisalo, T., Tuomi, J., Pedersen, B. and Käär, P. (1997) Hierarchical selection in clonal plants. In H. de Kroon and J. van Groenendael (eds) The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 243–261.
Westley, L.C. (1993) The effect of inflorescence bud removal on tuber production in Helianthus tuherosus L. (Asteraceae). Ecology 74, 2136–2144.
Wikberg, S. (1995) Fitness in clonal plants. Oikos 72, 293–297.
Winkler, E. and Fischer, M. (1999) Two fitness measures for clonal plants and the importance of spatial aspects. Plant Ecol. 141, 191–199.
Zamora, R., Gomez, J.M. and Hodar, J.A. (1998) Fitness responses of a carnivorous plant in contrasting ecological scenarios. Ecology 79, 1630–1644.
Editors and Affiliations
Rights and permissions
© 2002 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Pan, J.J., Price, J.S. (2002). Fitness and evolution in clonal plants: the impact of clonal growth. In: Stuefer, J.F., Erschbamer, B., Huber, H., Suzuki, JI. (eds) Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Clonal Plants. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-1345-0_20
Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht
Print ISBN: 978-90-481-6047-1
Online ISBN: 978-94-017-1345-0
eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive