Causes and consequences of prolonged dormancy for an iteroparous geophyte, Silene spaldingii
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2007
Journal of Ecology
Volume 95, Issue 6, pages 1360–1369, November 2007
How to Cite
LESICA, P. and CRONE, E. E. (2007), Causes and consequences of prolonged dormancy for an iteroparous geophyte, Silene spaldingii. Journal of Ecology, 95: 1360–1369. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2007.01291.x
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2007
- Received 28 March 2007; accepted 6 July 2007; Handling Editor: Michael Hutchings
- life history;
- prolonged dormancy;
- reproductive value;
- resource allocation;
- Silene spaldingii
- 1Prolonged dormancy, during which a plant does not produce above-ground shoots during one or more growing seasons, is common in temperate herbaceous species, but its role in life history is poorly understood.
- 2We analysed stage transitions to determine the consequences of prolonged dormancy for Silene spaldingii, a perennial geophyte of semi-arid grasslands in the Columbia Basin of western North America. We monitored 179 S. spaldingii plants from 1987 through 2005, and analysed demographic rates as a function of plant state and seasonal precipitation.
- 3Dormant plants had similar survival and growth to vegetative plants, and were more likely to flower in the following year, resulting in a greater reproductive value being associated with the dormant state. Thus, prolonged dormancy is likely to increase fitness in S. spaldingii.
- 4Both external (precipitation) and internal (stage in previous year) factors were associated with S. spaldingii vital rates. Prolonged dormancy was more likely following flowering than after being vegetative, and following a wetter summer and/or drier fall the previous year.
- 5Our results suggest that geophytic species may respond to current resource availability in a manner dependent on internal state (previous performance) and suggest that prolonged dormancy plays a role in resource allocation and life history.