Geographic and Habitat Origin Influence Biomass Production and Storage Translocation in the Clonal Plant Aegopodium podagraria.

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Through physiological integration, clonal plants can support ramets in unfavourable patches, exploit heterogeneously distributed resources and distribute resources that are taken up over large areas. Physiological integration generally increases in adverse conditions, but it is not well known which factors determine the evolution of physiological integration. The aim of this study was to investigate if clonal plants from Southern and Northern populations of the clonal herb Aegopodium podagraria differed in physiological integration in terms of translocation of carbon to the rhizomes, and in biomass production using a reciprocal transplant experiment. Aegopodium podagraria from shaded conditions have been suggested to share more resources than clones from open conditions and therefore, plants from forest and open populations within the Southern and Northern regions were included. The regional growing conditions greatly affected biomass production. Plants grown in North Sweden produced more biomass and allocated more biomass to shoots, while plants grown in South Sweden allocated more biomass to rhizomes. There was a regional origin effect as plants originating from North Sweden produced more biomass in both regions. Within the Northern region, plants from shaded habitats translocated more (14)C to the rhizomes, suggesting more storage there than in plants from open habitats. In addition to genetic differentiation in biomass production between Northern and Southern populations, probably as a response to a shorter growing season in the North, there appeared to be genetic differentiation in physiological integration within the Northern region. This shows that both regional and local conditions need to be taken into account in future studies of genetic differentiation of physiological integration in clonal plants.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere85407
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch