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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)
Plant ecologists have spent considerable effort investigating the physiological mechanisms and ecological consequences of clonal growth in plants. One line of research is concerned with the response of clonal plants to environmental heterogeneity. Several concepts and hypotheses have been formulated so far, suggesting that intra-clonal resource(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)
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)
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)
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)
* 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)
Clonal plant species can be considered as populations of interconnected ramets which are basically identical in form and function, and potentially independent from each other. Experimental studies and field observations suggest that an intra-clonal specialization of ramets with different roles (division of labour) can increase the performance of clonal(More)