Costs of resprouting are traded off against reproduction in subtropical coastal dune forest trees

E Nzunda, Michael Lawes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Resprouting can be an important means of regeneration for forest tree species resulting in multi-stemmed architecture, especially at less productive or frequently disturbed sites. However, the cost of resprouting may be traded off against growth or reproduction. In subtropical coastal forest in South Africa, trees grow on steep, sandy dunes with unstable soils and low to moderate nutrient availability. These coastal forests experience seasonally strong anticyclonic winds from August through October. We examined the hypothesis that basal resprouting resulting in multiple stems causes lower rates of sexual reproduction and recruitment by individuals. We examined whether trees traded off resprouting against seed output, seed size, seedling abundance and recruitment by seedlings. Species were designated as good and poor resprouters based on their frequency of multi-stemmed individuals at Cape Vidal. Good resprouters had more stems, produced less seed and had lower seed mass than poor resprouters, and had lower seedling abundance and fewer individuals in small diameter classes than large diameter classes. Seedling abundance in good resprouters was not influenced by the availability of understorey gaps. Good resprouters were most abundant on dune crests and seaward slopes that were exposed to sea winds. Persistence of established individuals by producing multiple stems from basal resprouts is important where a chronic disturbance regime potentially reduces the survivorship of single-stemmed individuals and thereby their opportunities for reproduction. Good resprouters appear to trade-off recruitment of new individuals for multiple stems that increase the persistence of established ones against disturbance. We conclude that multi-stemming arising from basal resprouts has evolved to promote individual persistence under low to moderate intensity but pervasive wind stress. � 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1991-2001
    Number of pages11
    JournalPlant Ecology
    Volume212
    Issue number12
    Early online date20 Oct 2011
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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    resprouting
    dunes
    forest trees
    dune
    seedling
    coastal forests
    stems
    persistence
    seedlings
    stem
    seeds
    seed
    cost
    disturbance
    seed size
    sexual reproduction
    survivorship
    nutrient availability
    wind stress
    trade-off

    Cite this

    Nzunda, E ; Lawes, Michael. / Costs of resprouting are traded off against reproduction in subtropical coastal dune forest trees. In: Plant Ecology. 2011 ; Vol. 212, No. 12. pp. 1991-2001.
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    abstract = "Resprouting can be an important means of regeneration for forest tree species resulting in multi-stemmed architecture, especially at less productive or frequently disturbed sites. However, the cost of resprouting may be traded off against growth or reproduction. In subtropical coastal forest in South Africa, trees grow on steep, sandy dunes with unstable soils and low to moderate nutrient availability. These coastal forests experience seasonally strong anticyclonic winds from August through October. We examined the hypothesis that basal resprouting resulting in multiple stems causes lower rates of sexual reproduction and recruitment by individuals. We examined whether trees traded off resprouting against seed output, seed size, seedling abundance and recruitment by seedlings. Species were designated as good and poor resprouters based on their frequency of multi-stemmed individuals at Cape Vidal. Good resprouters had more stems, produced less seed and had lower seed mass than poor resprouters, and had lower seedling abundance and fewer individuals in small diameter classes than large diameter classes. Seedling abundance in good resprouters was not influenced by the availability of understorey gaps. Good resprouters were most abundant on dune crests and seaward slopes that were exposed to sea winds. Persistence of established individuals by producing multiple stems from basal resprouts is important where a chronic disturbance regime potentially reduces the survivorship of single-stemmed individuals and thereby their opportunities for reproduction. Good resprouters appear to trade-off recruitment of new individuals for multiple stems that increase the persistence of established ones against disturbance. We conclude that multi-stemming arising from basal resprouts has evolved to promote individual persistence under low to moderate intensity but pervasive wind stress. � 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.",
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    doi = "10.1007/s11258-011-9991-2",
    language = "English",
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    Costs of resprouting are traded off against reproduction in subtropical coastal dune forest trees. / Nzunda, E; Lawes, Michael.

    In: Plant Ecology, Vol. 212, No. 12, 12.2011, p. 1991-2001.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Costs of resprouting are traded off against reproduction in subtropical coastal dune forest trees

    AU - Nzunda, E

    AU - Lawes, Michael

    PY - 2011/12

    Y1 - 2011/12

    N2 - Resprouting can be an important means of regeneration for forest tree species resulting in multi-stemmed architecture, especially at less productive or frequently disturbed sites. However, the cost of resprouting may be traded off against growth or reproduction. In subtropical coastal forest in South Africa, trees grow on steep, sandy dunes with unstable soils and low to moderate nutrient availability. These coastal forests experience seasonally strong anticyclonic winds from August through October. We examined the hypothesis that basal resprouting resulting in multiple stems causes lower rates of sexual reproduction and recruitment by individuals. We examined whether trees traded off resprouting against seed output, seed size, seedling abundance and recruitment by seedlings. Species were designated as good and poor resprouters based on their frequency of multi-stemmed individuals at Cape Vidal. Good resprouters had more stems, produced less seed and had lower seed mass than poor resprouters, and had lower seedling abundance and fewer individuals in small diameter classes than large diameter classes. Seedling abundance in good resprouters was not influenced by the availability of understorey gaps. Good resprouters were most abundant on dune crests and seaward slopes that were exposed to sea winds. Persistence of established individuals by producing multiple stems from basal resprouts is important where a chronic disturbance regime potentially reduces the survivorship of single-stemmed individuals and thereby their opportunities for reproduction. Good resprouters appear to trade-off recruitment of new individuals for multiple stems that increase the persistence of established ones against disturbance. We conclude that multi-stemming arising from basal resprouts has evolved to promote individual persistence under low to moderate intensity but pervasive wind stress. � 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

    AB - Resprouting can be an important means of regeneration for forest tree species resulting in multi-stemmed architecture, especially at less productive or frequently disturbed sites. However, the cost of resprouting may be traded off against growth or reproduction. In subtropical coastal forest in South Africa, trees grow on steep, sandy dunes with unstable soils and low to moderate nutrient availability. These coastal forests experience seasonally strong anticyclonic winds from August through October. We examined the hypothesis that basal resprouting resulting in multiple stems causes lower rates of sexual reproduction and recruitment by individuals. We examined whether trees traded off resprouting against seed output, seed size, seedling abundance and recruitment by seedlings. Species were designated as good and poor resprouters based on their frequency of multi-stemmed individuals at Cape Vidal. Good resprouters had more stems, produced less seed and had lower seed mass than poor resprouters, and had lower seedling abundance and fewer individuals in small diameter classes than large diameter classes. Seedling abundance in good resprouters was not influenced by the availability of understorey gaps. Good resprouters were most abundant on dune crests and seaward slopes that were exposed to sea winds. Persistence of established individuals by producing multiple stems from basal resprouts is important where a chronic disturbance regime potentially reduces the survivorship of single-stemmed individuals and thereby their opportunities for reproduction. Good resprouters appear to trade-off recruitment of new individuals for multiple stems that increase the persistence of established ones against disturbance. We conclude that multi-stemming arising from basal resprouts has evolved to promote individual persistence under low to moderate intensity but pervasive wind stress. � 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

    KW - biomass allocation

    KW - disturbance

    KW - dune

    KW - evolutionary biology

    KW - forest ecosystem

    KW - hypothesis testing

    KW - nutrient availability

    KW - persistence

    KW - population structure

    KW - recruitment (population dynamics)

    KW - regeneration

    KW - reproduction

    KW - resprouting

    KW - seedling

    KW - stem

    KW - subtropical region

    KW - survivorship

    KW - trade-off

    KW - understory

    KW - South Africa

    U2 - 10.1007/s11258-011-9991-2

    DO - 10.1007/s11258-011-9991-2

    M3 - Article

    VL - 212

    SP - 1991

    EP - 2001

    JO - Plant Ecology

    JF - Plant Ecology

    SN - 0042-3106

    IS - 12

    ER -