Canadian Forest Service Publications

Seasonal changes in shoot regrowth potential in Calamagrostis canadensis. 1991. Hogg, E.H.; Lieffers, V.J. Oecologia 85: 596-602.

Year: 1991

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 11213

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

A series of laboratory experiments was conducted to examine seasonal change in shoot regrowth potential following disturbance in Calamagrostis canadensis. On several dates during the 1988 and 1989 growing seasons, soil cores were collected from field sites dominated by this grass. Shoot regrowth from cores after clipping at the soil surface was monitored under dark or light laboratory conditions at 20°C. seasonal changes in field concentrations of total nonstructural carbohydrate and nitrogen in rhizomes largely accounted for the observed seasonal change in etiolated regrowth potential of shoots in laboratory experiments. In contrast, shoot regrowth potential in the light showed a very different seasonal pattern. The ratio of shoot biomass regrowth 20 d after clipping in the light versus dark treatment showed a gradual seasonal decrease from 12:1 in the early May experiment to near 1:1 in the September experiment. However, the rate of photosynthesis of regrowing shoots in the light was highest in experiments conducted late in the growing season. This may indicate a strong seasonal decrease in the proportion of current photosynthate of regrowing shoots that is allocated to new shoot growth. Alternatively, mobilization of rhizome carbohydrate reserves for shoot regrowth may have been inhibited during the re-establishment of photosynthesis in the light treatment. Either mechanism would explain why shoot regrowth in the light is poorly correlated with levels of belowground carbohydrate reserves, even under controlled laboratory conditions.