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Plasticity and population differences in reproductive characters and resource allocation in danthonia caespitosa gramineae



Plasticity and population differences in reproductive characters and resource allocation in danthonia caespitosa gramineae



Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 111(1): 19-27



How pronounced can variation in reproductive characters and resource allocation be among latitudinal populations of a widely distributed species? Do different characters show similar patterns of variability? Data to answer such questions were collected in field, transplant garden, glasshouse and phytotron studies of D. caespitosa Gaud., a perennial grass distributed throughout southern Australia. There were no significant latitudinal patterns in percentage biomass allocation (to leaves, stems, and panicles), and in number and weight of caryopses (seeds) per 10 grams of shoot biomass, in the field; or in number and weight of seeds per spikelet, number of spikelets per panicle, number of seeds per panicle, weight of individual panicles, and mean weight per seed in either field or garden, although there were often significant differences among populations. There were significant latitudinal patterns for number of panicles per 10 grams of shoot biomass in both field and garden, and in the garden for percentage of shoot biomass allocated to panicles, and number and weight of seeds per 10 grams of shoot biomass. Measurements under field, garden, and phytotron conditions indicated that mean weight per seed is a population rather than a species character, and that seed weight is as variable and plastic as the other reproductive characters. Phenotypic flexibility differed among populations, and the various characters showed strikingly different patterns of variability among populations. The predictabibility of character patterns from theory or prior studies was less than 50%.

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Accession: 006133459

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DOI: 10.2307/2996206



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