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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-6984


DEMETRIO, GR; COELHO, FF  y  BARBOSA, MEA. Body size and clonality consequences for sexual reproduction in a perennial herb of Brazilian rupestrian grasslands. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2014, vol.74, n.3, pp.744-749. ISSN 1519-6984.

Body size is one of the most important factors regarding herbaceous perennial plants life-histories, and several fitness components of these organisms are related to size. Clonal plants show distinct kinds of reproduction and can develop offspring by sexual or asexual ways. We aimed to understand how body size affects Comanthera nivea (Eriocaulaceae) sexual reproduction and to verify how clonal growth is related to flower head production in this species. We sampled 600 rosettes in rupestrian grasslands and performed linear regression analysis between body size and number of produced flower heads. We also compared the flower head production between isolated rosettes and rosettes within clones. Our results showed that body size was significantly related, but explained only a small part of flower head production. The flower head production was higher in rosettes within clones than in isolated ones. The clones presented a rosette or a small group of rosettes that concentrated the sexual reproduction. Clonality was positively associated with sexual reproduction. Clonality can represent an important way of allowing the persistence of plants by sexual reproduction in markedly seasonal stressful environments. The cases of clonality enhancing the sexual reproduction must be considered and put in focus on reproductive biology research.

Palabras clave : body size; life history; clonality; reproductive strategies; sexual reproduction; Eriocaulaceae.

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