Document Detail

Extreme preformation in alpine Polygonum viviparum: an architectural and developmental analysis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21712195     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Preformation, the initiation of organs one or more years prior to maturation and function, is reported to be common and crucial for plant survival in arctic and alpine environments, yet the phenomenon is remarkably little studied. In order to understand the role of preformation in the ecology and evolution of tundra species, this investigation takes a developmental and architectural approach to the analysis of plant growth and reproduction in the alpine perennial Polygonum viviparam L. Analyses show that the extent and duration of preformation in P. viviparam are extraordinary. Four years are required for each leaf and inflorescence to progress from initiation to functional and structural maturity. This single salient feature of development has profound consequences for basic architecture, dynamics of resource allocation, and the timing of plant responses to environmental variation. As a consequence of the protracted duration of leaf and inflorescence development, five cohorts of primordia, initiated in successive years, are borne simultaneously by an individual plant. In the year prior to maturation leaves reach 30% of their maximum size, and the maximum potential reproductive output of each inflorescence is determined. Thus, developmental processes that affect final morphology and resource allocation occur at least 1 yr before functional maturity. From the developmental and architectural models constructed for P. viviparum, a 1-yr delay in measurable plant responses to environmental variation is predicted. The models also apply generally to arctic and alpine species and provide a mechanistic explanation for observed patterns of productivity at the community and ecosystem scale.
P Diggle
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of botany     Volume:  84     ISSN:  0002-9122     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Bot.     Publication Date:  1997 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-06-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370467     Medline TA:  Am J Bot     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  154     Citation Subset:  -    
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