Journal Article

Gender-specific costs of reproduction on vegetative growth and physiological performance in the dioecious shrub <i>Corema album</i>

Leonor Álvarez-Cansino, María Zunzunegui, Mari Cruz Díaz Barradas and Mari Paz Esquivias

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 106, issue 6, pages 989-998
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcq197
Gender-specific costs of reproduction on vegetative growth and physiological performance in the dioecious shrub Corema album

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background and Aims

Reproductive costs imply trade-offs in resource distribution at the physiological level, expressed as changes in future growth and/or reproduction. In dioecious species, females generally endure higher reproductive effort, although this is not necessarily expressed through higher somatic costs, as compensatory mechanisms may foster resource uptake during reproduction.

Methods

To assess effects of reproductive allocation on vegetative growth and physiological response in terms of costs and compensation mechanisms, a manipulative experiment of inflorescence bud removal was carried out in the sexually dimorphic species Corema album. Over two consecutive growing seasons, vegetative growth patterns, water status and photochemical efficiency were measured to evaluate gender-related differences.

Key Results

Suppression of reproductive allocation resulted in a direct reduction in somatic costs of reproduction, expressed through changes in growth variables and plant physiological status. Inflorescence bud removal was related to an increase in shoot elongation and water potential in male and female plants. The response to inflorescence bud removal showed gender-related differences that were related to the moment of maximum reproductive effort in each sexual form: flowering in males and fruiting in females. Delayed costs of reproduction were found in both water status and growth variables, showing gender-related differences in resource storage and use.

Conclusions

Results are consistent with the existence of a trade-off between reproductive and vegetative biomass, indicating that reproduction and growth depend on the same resource pool. Gender-related morphological and physiological differences arise as a response to different reproductive resource requirements. Delayed somatic costs provide evidence of gender-related differences in resource allocation and storage. Adaptive differences between genders in C. album may arise through the development of mechanisms which compensate for the cost of reproduction.

Keywords: Corema album; costs of reproduction; flower removal; photochemical efficiency; sexual dimorphism; trade-off; water potential

Journal Article.  6675 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.