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Plastic morphological response to density in spergularia marina leaf demography and meristem activity



Plastic morphological response to density in spergularia marina leaf demography and meristem activity



Holarctic Ecology 9(1): 13-19



In order to explain, in terms of a morphologically based plastic response, the absence of density-dependent mortality, and the regulation of reproduction in the halophilous annual Spergularia marina, leaf demography and the use of meristems were studied in populations of three different densities. Leaf birth and death rates were almost constant at the higher densities, whereas at the lowest density both increased throughout most of the observation period. This increase was caused by the addition of new vegetative shoots, each one resembling the individuals growing at higher densities in having an almost constant leaf birth and death rate. The capacity to adjust leaf death rate to birth rate with density was high. There was no difference in the proportions of meristems used for flowering as the density increased. After the first flower had been produced, each following node produced a flower. The proportions of meristems used for vegetative shoots were strongly density-dependent; more shoots were produced at lower densities. The regulation of flower production was almost entirely caused by the addition of vegetative shoots.

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Accession: 006133405

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