The effect of space on competition between clonal plants

Department of Biological Physics, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary

Krisztián Magori

Krisztián Magori

Plants can create their offspring by clonal growth? an asexual form of biological reproduction. The resulting set of genetically equivalent plant individuals is called a genet, while individual shoots within a genet are referred to as ramets. Lateral connections between ramets can transfer nutrients from one ramet to the other. This allows ramets experiencing good local conditions to share their resources with ramets that find themselves in bad spots. The percentage of resource that a ramet shares with its neighbors characterizes its so-called integration strategy. Plant species can differ widely in their integration strategy; extreme types are called splitter (no sharing) and integrator (full sharing). We investigate the competition of these strategies and their inter- mediates in response to different environmental conditions. For this purpose, we have developed and studied a spatially explicit cellular automaton model of clonal plants and have compared its dynamics to the non-spatial version of the same model. We demonstrate that the outcome of competition differs drastically between the spatially explicit model and its non-spatial approximation.

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Last edited: 03 June 2016

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