Size symmetry of competition alters biomass-density relationships

Stoll, P. and Weiner, J. and Muller-Landau, H. and Muller, E. and Hara, T.. (2002) Size symmetry of competition alters biomass-density relationships. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B, Biological sciences, Vol. 269. pp. 2191-2195.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250245

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As crowded populations of plants develop, the growth of some plants is accompanied by the death of others, a process called density-dependent mortality or 'self-thinning'. During the course of density-dependent mortality, the relationship between total population biomass (B) and surviving plant density (N) is allometric: B = aN(b). Essentially, increasing population biomass can be achieved only through decreasing population density. Variation in the allometric coefficient a among species has been recognized for many years and is important for management, assessment of productivity and carbon budgets, but the causes of this variation have not been elucidated. Individual-based models predict that size-dependent competition causes variation in the allometric coefficient. Using transgenic Arabidopsis with decreased plasticity, we provide experimental evidence that morphological plasticity of wild-type populations decreases the size asymmetry of competition for light and thereby decreases density-dependent mortality. This decrease in density-dependent mortality results in more biomass at a given density under size-symmetric compared with size-asymmetric competition.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Stoll, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:The Royal Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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