• biomass allocation;
  • clipping;
  • Cyperus esculentus;
  • nutrients availability;
  • under compensatory growth response

A glasshouse experiment was conducted to examine how the interactions of nutrient availability and partial ramet clipping affect growth, reproduction and biomass allocation of Cyperus esculentus, an invasive sedge. The plants sprouting from tubers were grown at low and high nutrient levels, and were subject either to no clipping, one, two or three clippings, with each clipping cutting half of the existing ramets at soil level. Our results show that nutrient availability and clipping frequency tended to independently affect most of growth, reproduction and biomass allocation parameters of Cyperus esculentus examined in the present study. Increased supply of nutrients led to an increase in plant productivity and its associated traits. All of the traits, except for the number of ramets, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing clipping frequency, indicating that Cyperus esculentus had undercompensatory responses to ramet clipping. It is likely that the patterns of plants’ response to clipping are species specific, and depend on morphological characters of species. Its susceptibility to ramet clipping can offer opportunities for controlling this invasive species through mechanical methods such as mowing. Clipping had little effects on biomass allocation; however, root weight fraction increased with increasing clipping frequency. While nutrient availability and clipping frequency had no influence on leaf carbon concentration at harvest, both of them increased leaf nitrogen concentration, and hence reduced leaf C/N ratio.