Buckley, N.E. , Avila-Sakar, G. .
Tradeoffs between growth and reproduction in the dioecious shrub Ilex glabra.
Plants have evolved numerous mechanisms to protect against the detrimental effects of herbivory. Notably, defense strategy is influenced by resource availability and can vary greatly not just among, but also within species. Replacing leaf tissue is more costly for individuals with access to a small resource pool compared to those growing in a resource rich environment, and consequently, utilizing a resistant defense strategy that reduces leaf loss is more favorable to resource limited individuals. Conversely, a more tolerant strategy may be more common in individuals with greater access to resources. In the dioecious shrub Ilex glabra, male plants expend resources on a relatively large floral display compared to the female plant. However, successfully fertilized female plants allocate resources towards both fruit and seed production following the flowering period, a time in which male plants no longer contribute resources towards reproduction. Differences in resource use throughout plant life history between plants of different flower types may influence which defensive strategy each gender employs. Through partial and full defoliation treatments, leaf scanning, and tracking leaf births at different periods of plant phenology, this investigation revealed evidence that males and females differ in compensatory responses to leaf loss. While males responded to defoliation by increasing floral production, female plants invested in increased leaf production. In addition, genders differed in leaf and reproductive phenology, indicating a tradeoff between growth and reproduction.
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1 - University of Tennessee, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1460 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA
2 - University of Winnipeg, Department of Biology, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2E9 , Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 10:15 AM