Vegetative Traits (vegetative + trait)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 5 2009
Magdalena P. Bartkowska
Self-fertilization is expected to reduce genetic diversity within populations and consequently to limit adaptability to changing environments. Little is known, however, about the way the evolution of self-fertilization changes the amount or pattern of the components of genetic variation in natural populations. In this study, a reciprocal North Carolina II design and maximum-likelihood methods were implemented to investigate the genetic basis of variation for 15 floral and vegetative traits in four populations of the annual plant Amsinckia spectabilis (Boraginaceae) differing in mating system. Six variance components were estimated according to Cockerham and Weir's "bio" model c. Compared to the three partially selfing populations, we found significantly lower levels of nuclear variance for several traits in the nearly completely self-fertilizing population. Furthermore, for 11 of 15 traits we did not detect nuclear variation to be significantly greater than zero. We also found high maternal variance in one of the partially selfing populations for several traits, and little dominance variance in any population. These results are in agreement with the evolutionary dead-end hypothesis for highly self-fertilizing taxa. [source]

The genetic diversity of perennial Leymus chinensis originating from China

Z. P. Liu
Summary Leymus chinensis is an economically and ecologically important grass that is widely distributed across eastern areas of the Eurasian steppe. A better knowledge of genetic diversity of L. chinensis could be valuable in the efficient utilization, conservation and management of germplasm collections. Genetic diversity in thirty-seven morphological characters of 293 accessions was assessed in three successive years. Based on these qualitative and quantitative characters, the genetic diversity indices (Shannon indices) of traits and geographical populations were estimated, and a principal coordinates analysis and a path analysis were undertaken. Compared with the yellow-green type of L. chinensis, the grey-green type had significantly (P < 0·05) more genetic diversity. In addition, the path analysis suggested that the combined effects of genetic diversity and vegetative traits could explain 0·206 of the total variance in plant reproductive traits. The highest Shannon genetic diversity index of accessions (H = 2·252) was observed in accessions from the region of longitude of 124,128°E, suggesting the most abundant germplasm of L. chinensis in this region. [source]

Can grazing response of herbaceous plants be predicted from simple vegetative traits?

Sandra Díaz
Summary 1,Range management is based on the response of plant species and communities to grazing intensity. The identification of easily measured plant functional traits that consistently predict grazing response in a wide spectrum of rangelands would be a major advance. 2,Sets of species from temperate subhumid upland grasslands of Argentina and Israel, grazed by cattle, were analysed to find out whether: (i) plants with contrasting grazing responses differed in terms of easily measured vegetative and life-history traits; (ii) their grazing response could be predicted from those traits; (iii) these patterns differed between the two countries. Leaf mass, area, specific area (SLA) and toughness were measured on 83 Argentine and 19 Israeli species. Species were classified by grazing response (grazing-susceptible or grazing-resistant) and plant height (< or > 40 cm) as well as by life history (annual or perennial) and taxonomy (monocotyledon or dicotyledon). 3,Similar plant traits were associated with a specific response to grazing in both Argentina and Israel. Grazing-resistant species were shorter in height, and had smaller, more tender, leaves, with higher SLA than grazing-susceptible species. Grazing resistance was associated with both avoidance traits (small height and leaf size) and tolerance traits (high SLA). Leaf toughness did not contribute to grazing resistance and may be related to selection for canopy dominance. 4,Plant height was the best single predictor of grazing response, followed by leaf mass. The best prediction of species grazing response was achieved by combining plant height, life history and leaf mass. SLA was a comparatively poor predictor of grazing response. 5,The ranges of plant traits, and some correlation patterns between them, differed markedly between species sets from Argentina and Israel. However, the significant relationships between plant traits and grazing response were maintained. 6,The results of this exploratory study suggest that prediction of grazing responses on the basis of easily measured plant traits is feasible and consistent between similar grazing systems in different regions. The results challenge the precept that intense cattle grazing necessarily favours species with tough, unpalatable, leaves. [source]

Abundance and habitat segregation in Mediterranean grassland species: the importance of seed weight

F.M. Azcárate
Castroviejo (1986,1999); except taxa yet to be covered which follow Tutin et al. (1964,1980) Abstract. We analysed the relationship between seed traits (weight, shape and dispersal structures) and the abundance and habitat segregation of Mediterranean grassland species. To take into account possible correlations with other plant traits, the study also includes 5 vegetative traits (growth form, plant longevity, clonality, onset of flowering and plant size) of commonly accepted functional importance. Data were recorded for 85 species from dehesa grasslands in central Spain. Species abundance was measured in upper (dry and less productive, high stress) and lower (moist and more productive, low stress) slope zones in the same area. Habitat segregation was estimated using an index based on the relative frequencies of species in upper and lower slope zones. Multiple regression models were fitted using species, as well as phylogenetically independent contrasts, as data points. Annual small-seeded species without specialised dispersal structures are over-represented in dehesa grasslands. Abundance was negatively related to seed weight in upper slope zones. None of the recorded plant traits were related to abundance in the lower slope zones. Habitat segregation was mainly related to seed weight, but also to some vegetative traits. Annual, early flowering and small-seeded species were relatively more abundant in the upper than the lower slope zones. This pattern is independent of phylogeny. Our results suggest that in dry Mediterranean grasslands, abundance of many species is determined by dispersal (production of numerous small seeds) rather than by competitive ability. [source]

Ants mediate foliar structure and nitrogen acquisition in a tank-bromeliad

Céline Leroy
Summary ,,Aechmea mertensii is a tank-bromeliad that roots on ant-gardens initiated by the ants Camponotus femoratus and Pachycondyla goeldii. Its leaves form compartments acting as phytotelmata that hold rainwater and provide habitats for invertebrates. In this article, we aimed to determine whether the association with either C. femoratus or P. goeldii influenced the vegetative traits of A. mertensii, invertebrate diversity and nutrient assimilation by the leaves. ,,Transmitted light, vegetative traits and phytotelmata contents were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. ,,Camponotus femoratus colonized partially shaded areas, whereas P. goeldii colonized exposed areas. The bromeliads' rosettes had a large canopy (C. femoratus ant-gardens), or were smaller and amphora shaped (P. goeldii ant-gardens). There were significant differences in leaf anatomy, as shaded leaves were thicker than exposed leaves. The mean volumes of water, fine particulate organic matter and detritus in C. femoratus -associated bromeliads were three to five times higher than in P. goeldii -associated bromeliads. Moreover, the highest invertebrate diversity and leaf ,15N values were found in C. femoratus -associated bromeliads. ,,This study enhances our understanding of the dynamics of biodiversity, and shows how ant,plant interactions can have trophic consequences and thus influence the architecture of the interacting plant via a complex feedback loop. [source]

Mycorrhizal infection and high soil phosphorus improve vegetative growth and the female and male functions in tomato

Jennifer L. Poulton
Summary ,,To further characterize the effects of mycorrhizal infection and soil phosphorus (P) availability on plant fitness, this study examined their effects on the female and male functions, as well as vegetative growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). ,,Two cultivars of tomato were grown in a glasshouse under three treatment combinations: nonmycorrhizal, low P (NMPO); nonmycorrhizal, high P (NMP3); and mycorrhizal, low P (MPO). ,,Mycorrhizal infection and high soil P conditions improved several vegetative (leaf area, days until first flower and leaf P concentration) and reproductive traits (total flower production, fruit mass, seed number and pollen production per plant, and mean pollen production per flower). In general, mycorrhizal and P responses were greater for reproductive traits than vegetative traits. In one cultivar, these responses were greater for the male function than the female function. ,,Thus, mycorrhizal infection and high soil P conditions enhanced fitness through both the female and male functions. Similar trends were usually observed in the NMP3 and MPO treatments, suggesting that mycorrhizal effects were largely the result of improved P acquisition. [source]

Tolerance to apical and foliar damage: costs and mechanisms in Raphanus raphanistrum

OIKOS, Issue 12 2007
Elin Boalt
To study mechanisms underlying plant tolerance to herbivore damage, we used apical and foliar damage as experimental treatments to study whether there are similar tolerance mechanisms to different types of damage. We also studied whether tolerance to different types of damage are associated, and whether there is a cost involved in plant tolerance to different types of herbivore damage. Our greenhouse experiment involved 480 plants from 30 full-sib families of an annual weed Raphanus raphanistrum, wild radish, which were subjected to control and two different simulated herbivore damage treatments, apex removal and foliar damage of 30% of leaf area. Apical damage significantly decreased seed production, whereas foliar damage had no effect. There was a significant genetic variation for tolerance to foliar, but not apical damage. No costs were observed in terms of negative correlation between tolerance to either damage type and fitness of undamaged plants. Tolerances to apical and foliar damage were not significantly correlated with each other. We observed a larger number of significant associations between tolerance and reproductive traits than between tolerance and vegetative traits. Plant height and leaf size of damaged plants interacted in their association to tolerance to foliar damage. Inflorescence number and pollen quantity per flower of damaged plants were positively associated with tolerance to apical damage. In late-flowering genotypes, petal size of undamaged plants and pollen quantity of damaged plants were positively associated with tolerance to foliar damage. In summary, traits involved in floral display and male fitness were associated with plant tolerance to herbivore damage. [source]

Differences in pollinator faunas may generate geographic differences in floral morphology and integration in Narcissus papyraceus (Amaryllidaceae)

OIKOS, Issue 11 2007
Rocío Pérez-Barrales
Pollinators may generate selective pressures that affect covariation patterns of multiple traits as well as the mean values of single floral morphological traits. Berg predicted that flowers pollinated by animals whose morphology closely matches the flower's shape will be phenotypically more integrated (tighter correlation of flower traits) than will flowers pollinated by animals not closely fitting the floral morphology. We tested this hypothesis by comparing, in the Strait of Gibraltar region (south Spain, northern Morocco), populations of Narcissus papyraceus that have geographical differences in pollinator faunas. Long-tongued, nectar-feeding moths dominate the pollinator faunas of those populations close to the Strait of Gibraltar, whereas short-tongued, pollen-feeding syrphid flies dominate in peripheral populations farther from the Strait. Populations pollinated by moths and flies differed in the mean values of several floral traits, consistent with the evolution of regional pollination ecotypes. Populations pollinated by moths showed stronger intercorrelation (floral integration) than populations pollinated by hoverflies. Moth-pollinated populations also showed less variation in flower traits than vegetative traits, and this difference was stronger than in fly-pollinated populations. Thus, the pattern of differences in the phenotypic architecture of the Narcissus flowers is consistent with the hypothesis that populations have responded to different selective pressures generated by different pollinators. These data also supported most of the specific predictions of Berg's hypotheses about integration and modularity. [source]