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Based on empirical evidence from the literature we propose that, in nature, phenotypic plasticity in plants is usually expressed at a subindividual level. While reaction norms (i.e. the type and the degree of plant responses to environmental variation) are a property of genotypes, they are expressed at the level of modular subunits in most plants. We thus(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS While within-species competition for light is generally found to be asymmetric - larger plants absorbing more than proportional amounts of light - between-species competition tends to be more symmetric. Here, the light capture was analysed in a 5-year-old competition experiment that started with ten genotypes of the clonal plant(More)
The stoloniferous herb Trifolium repens was used to study the expression of induced systemic resistance (ISR) to the generalist caterpillar Spodoptera exigua in interconnected ramets of clonal fragments. The ISR was assessed as caterpillar preference in dual choice tests between control and systemically induced plants. The ISR was detected in young ramets,(More)
Plant species from open habitats often show pronounced responses to shading. Apart from a reduction in growth, shading can lead to marked changes in morphology and architecture, and it may affect the rate of plant development. Natural shade comprises two basically different features, a reduction in light quantity (amount of radiation) and changes in the(More)
Clonal plant networks consist of interconnected individuals (ramets) of different sizes and ages. They represent heterogeneous ramet assemblages with marked differences in quality and attractiveness for herbivores. Here, feeding preferences of a generalist herbivore (Spodoptera exigua) for differently-aged ramets of Trifolium repens were studied, and(More)
* Plants must cope with environmental variation in space and time. Phenotypic plasticity allows them to adjust their form and function to small-scale variations in habitat quality. Empirical studies have shown that stoloniferous plants can exploit heterogeneous habitats through plastic ramet specialization and internal resource exchange (division of(More)
Shade-induced changes in the branching pattern of clonal plants can lead to conspicuous modifications of their growth form and architecture. It has been hypothesized that reduced branching in shade may be an adaptive trait, enabling clonal plants to escape from unfavourable patches in a heterogeneous environment by allocating resources preferentially to the(More)
Plant defense theory suggests that inducible resistance has evolved to reduce the costs of constitutive defense expression. To assess the functional and potentially adaptive value of induced resistance it is necessary to quantify the costs and benefits associated with this plastic response. The ecological and evolutionary viability of induced defenses(More)
Clonal fragments of Glechoma hederacea L. (Lamiaceae) were subjected to environments in which light and nutrients were supplied with a strictly negative association in space, i.e. when one of these resources was in ample supply the other was scarce. Treatments were chosen to simulate environments in which clones grew either within homogeneous conditions or(More)
After local herbivory, plants can activate defense traits both at the damaged site and in undamaged plant parts such as in connected ramets of clonal plants. Since defense induction has costs, a mismatch in time and space between defense activation and herbivore feeding might result in negative consequences for plant fitness. A short time lag between attack(More)