Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 39-46.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00039

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Correlation between altitude and reproductive allocation in three Saussurea species on China’s Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

WANG Yi-Feng*, LIU Qi-Qian, PEI Ze-Yu, and LI Hai-Yan   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2011-03-04 Revised:2011-11-29 Online:2012-01-01 Published:2012-01-05
  • Contact: WANG Yi-Feng

Abstract:

Aims The study of reproductive allocation is important to understand the environmental factors that contribute to population differences and species evolution. Our objective is to examine variation in reproductive allocation among 30 populations representing three Saussurea species across an elevation gradient on China’s Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
Methods We used population means to evaluate sources of variation in reproductive allocation within species. In addition, we used the sample investigation method and dry weight to evaluate biomass.
Important findings Reproductive allocation is negatively correlated with mean plant size; however, this relationship is not statistically significant when the effect of elevation is controlled statistically. Among populations within species, reproductive allocation increases with elevation, and this relationship persists even when the effect of mean plant size is controlled statistically. Altitude is a main influence on reproductive allocation.