Transgenerational effects of land use on offspring performance and growth in Trifolium repens

Wang, Zhengwen; Bossdorf, Oliver; Prati, Daniel; Fischer, Markus; van Kleunen, Mark (2016). Transgenerational effects of land use on offspring performance and growth in Trifolium repens. Oecologia, 180(2), pp. 409-420. Springer 10.1007/s00442-015-3480-6

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entral European grasslands vary widely in productivity and in mowing and grazing regimes. The resulting differences in competition and heterogeneity among grasslands might have direct effects on plants, but might also affect the growth and morphology of their offspring through maternal effects or adaptive evolution. To test for such transgenerational effects, we grew plants of the clonal herb Trifolium repens from seeds collected in 58 grassland sites differing in productivity and mowing and grazing intensities in different treatments: without competition, with homogeneous competition, and with heterogeneous competition. In the competition-free treatment, T. repens from more productive, less frequently mown, and less intensively grazed sites produced more vegetative offspring, but this was not the case in the other treatments. When grown among or in close proximity to competitors, T. repens plants did not show preferential growth towards open spaces (i.e., no horizontal foraging), but did show strong vertical foraging by petiole elongation. In the homogeneous competition treatment, petiole length increased with the productivity of the parental site, but this was not the case in the heterogeneous competition treatment. Moreover, petiole length increased with mowing frequency and grazing intensity of the parental site in all but the homogeneous competition treatment. In summary, although the expression of differences between plants from sites with different productivities and land-use intensities depended on the experimental treatment, our findings imply that there are transgenerational effects of land use on the morphology and performance of T. repens.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Bossdorf, Oliver; Prati, Daniel; Fischer, Markus and van Kleunen, Mark

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0029-8549

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2016 14:29

Last Modified:

04 Apr 2016 14:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00442-015-3480-6

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Competition, Foraging, Grazing, Mowing, Phenotypic plasticity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.78414

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/78414

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