Competition between shoots in stands of clonal plants

D.Kroon, Hans

Plant Species Biology 8(2-3): 85-94


ISSN/ISBN: 0913-557X
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-1984.1993.tb00060.x
Accession: 008365497

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Data on shoot turnover, shoot size distributions and individual shoot growth in stands of clonal plants are reviewed and compared with shoot density regulation in non-clonal plants. Shoots are the smallest units capable of independent existence in clonal as well as unitary plants and this comparison allows an investigation of the impact of integration and other factors an clonal shoot dynamics. Physiological integration, the capacity of clonal plants to exchange resources and growth substances between interconnected shoots, has long been held responsible for the ability of clonal plants to prevent shoot overproduction and for the general lack of density-dependent mortality and self-thinning. A review of published data leads to the conclusion that the effects of integration on shoot dynamics in clonal plants have been overestimated. Other characteristics such as the density-dependent control of meristem activity, the synchronization of shoot growth in spring and the maximum shoot size, seem more important for the deviating behaviour of shoot populations of clonal plants.

Competition between shoots in stands of clonal plants