OLM 8.6. Division of labour in clonal plants


As described in Ch8.3 the relative abundance of soil resources and light is an important factor shaping basic plant strategies and this ratio of the two types of resources determines the biomass ratio of above- and below-ground parts in plants. Classical allocation theory states that plants allocate more into organs specializing in the uptake of the most limiting resource (Grime 1979, Bloom et al. 1985). Nevertheless, if individual ramets of clonal plants stay interconnected after vegetative propagation they may share resources (assimilates or nutrients). This opens up the possibility for the spatial division of labour between ramets (Stuefer et al. 1996): each ramet specializes in taking up the resource that is locally abundant and shares it with other, connected ramets. We shall discuss this phenomenon in this OLM.


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