The effect of ramet mortality on clonal plant growth
WoS ID: 000491606800002
Scopus ID: 85061227917
PubMed ID: 30734908
Clonal plants grow horizontally by producing multiple physiological individuals (ramets). We studied clonal growth in a homogeneous environment using a dynamic spatial model based on a stochastic cellular automaton. We investigated different growth forms from the aspect of ramet mortality. Non-steady-state and quasi-steady-state cases were defined, and we determined the number of steps suitable for making a reliable difference between these two types of cases. This given number of steps was used when testing for the proportion of quasi-steady-state cases in 1000 repetitions. We also tested the efficiency of occupation in these cases. Our expectation was that higher occupation would be associated with lower ramet mortality. The results only partially verified this hypothesis. Though with increasing ramet mortality, the average number of ramets tended to decrease, it was not the lowest ramet mortality that resulted in the highest occupation. Our results showed that very low ramet mortality was unfavourable for the plant, as the spreading front and the area behind this front were so packed that the plant was not able to return and recolonize the vacated sites in the central area. This resulted in a lower proportion of quasi-steady-state cases and lower occupation in these cases. Our results may contribute to a deeper understanding of clonal plant growth and its limiting factors.