Ecology and function of clonal growth in plant communities
In recent decades there has been a growing interest in the ecology and functional significance of clonal plants. However, the extend to which variation in variation in vegetative and sexual reproduction reflects evolutionary patterns and environmental conditions is poorly known.
We study trade offs in the allocation of resources and meristems to sexual and clonal reproduction in the field, under controlled conditions and using simulation models. Species receiving special attention are Epilobium sp., Hieracium pilosella and Geum reptans. We intend to use simulation models to test more explicitely the role of long-distance dispersal and metapopulaton structure for the maintenance of sexual reproduction inclonal plants.