clonal dispersal

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A method of plant dispersal in which the plant produces stolons or rhizomes from which new plants develop, the new plants being genetically identical to one another and to the parent (i.e. they comprise a clone). Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and American quaking (or trembling) aspen (Populus tremuloides) are among the plants that disperse in this way. Such clones often cover a large area (nearly 14ha in the case of one clone of P. tremuloides) and sometimes achieve great longevity (1400 years in the case of a P. aquilinum clone). See also guerilla growth form; phalanx growth form.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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