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The relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction for population growth in the perennial herb; Fragaria vesca

Schulze, J. and Rufener, R. and Erhardt, A. and Stoll, P.. (2012) The relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction for population growth in the perennial herb; Fragaria vesca. Population ecology, Vol. 54, H. 3. pp. 369-380.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6070584

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Abstract

The relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction for population growth in clonal plants is highly variable. Clonal reproduction is often more important than sexual reproduction but there is considerable interspecific variation and the importance of the two reproductive modes can change with environmental conditions. We carried out a demographic study on the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), a widespread clonal herb, at 12 sites in Switzerland during 2 years. Study sites were selected in two different habitats, i.e., forest and forest edge. We used periodic matrix models to estimate annual population growth rates and carried out prospective analyses to identify life cycle components that influence population growth rates most. Retrospective analyses were applied to study how the two different habitats affected population dynamics. Furthermore, we tested whether trade-offs between sexual and clonal reproduction occurred. There were large differences in annual population growth rates between sites and large within-site differences between years. Results of the prospective analyses clearly indicate that clonal reproduction is the dominant reproductive pathway whereas sexual reproduction is rather insignificant for population growth. Compared to forest habitats, forest edge habitats had higher population growth rates in the first year but smaller growth rates in the second year. We attribute these differing habitat effects to different water availabilities during consecutive years. No trade-offs between sexual and clonal reproduction were found. In conclusion, population growth of F. vesca relies heavily on clonal reproduction. Furthermore, reproduction and survival rates of F. vesca depend highly on spatio-temporal variation of environmental conditions.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Stoll, Peter and Erhardt, Andreas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1438-3896
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 May 2013 09:21
Deposited On:24 May 2013 08:59

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