Changes in the growth and reproduction of a clonal plant as a result of disruption of mycorrhizal network
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Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Systematic and Environmental Botany, Poznań, Poland
Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Natural Science, Department of Environmental Studies and Biological Education, Siedlce, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-12-31
Publication date: 2021-12-31
Plant and Fungal Systematics 2021; 66(2): 195–200
In a clonal network, a mother plant is connected with daughter ramets. During network development, new ramets may encounter barriers that disrupt network integrity. As a result, resource allocation within a network is disturbed. In this study, the effect of network integrity disruption on the size of ramets and their sexual reproduction was investigated in mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella). Three types of networks were formed experimentally with unlimited resource allocation, with limited resource allocation between a mother plant and its daughter ramets and with limited resource allocation between all ramets. Networks were either supported by the presence of a mycorrhizal fungus or restricted by its absence. We found that the size of the mother and the effectiveness of sexual reproduction did not differ among network types. The length and dry mass of runners were higher in cases with limited resource exchange between a mother plant and its daughters. In the clonal plant network without any barriers to connection, a higher number of rosettes and lower dry mass of daughters were recorded. The mean number of daughter flowers did not differ among the network types. Mycorrhizal network is one of the most important factors for the sexual reproduction of clonal plants. With a reduced mycorrhizal network, plants invested in clonal growth.
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