Sprouting by plants: the effects of modular organization
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2004
Volume 18, Issue 6, pages 939–945, December 2004
How to Cite
VESK, P. A. and WESTOBY, M. (2004), Sprouting by plants: the effects of modular organization. Functional Ecology, 18: 939–945. doi: 10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00899.x
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2004
- Received 17 December 2003; revised 20 May 2004; accepted 21 May 2004
- disturbance response;
- modular growth;
- 1Plant survival following disturbance was modelled simply as the probability that at least one of n stems sprouts, each stem having an independent probability of sprouting, s. This first-order model with any stem on any plant in any species having probability s = 0·18 of sprouting after clipping (s = 0·09 after burning) explained nearly half of the deviance associated with species’ mortality in a field experiment on 43 species from a range of growth forms.
- 2Allowing species to take either a low or high per-stem sprouting probability (SSP) improved statistical explanation substantially. Fitting growth form SSP was less effective, showing that much of the apparent among-species variation in SSP was within growth forms.
- 3Allowing each species to have a different SSP essentially provided a saturated model. The estimated species-specific probabilities were positively related to the depth from which sprouts could emerge after disturbance. Predicting species’ bud depth from some simply measured morphological trait would be a considerable advance. Limited evidence suggested that sprout depth was associated with thick or dense leaves (low specific leaf area and leaf water content).
- 4Depicting plants as a collection of independent stems with equal probability of sprouting appears a reasonable first-order model for whole-plant sprouting, despite being morphologically simplified.