Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2007, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (4): 552-560.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0071

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SHEN Dong-Wei, LI Yuan-Yuan, CHEN Xiao-Yong*()   

  1. Department of Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Ecological Processes and Restoration in Urban Areas, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2006-08-10 Accepted:2007-01-05 Online:2007-08-10 Published:2007-07-30
  • Contact: CHEN Xiao-Yong


Clonal reproduction produces genetically identical ramets. Generally, local clonal diversity is determined by the dynamic balance between loss of established genets and recruitment of new genotypes via sexual reproduction or colonization, as described by Eriksson's recruitment mechanism. However, environmental factors also play important roles in clonal diversity. For example, disturbance will affect local clonal diversity by increased recruitment and mortality of seedlings. Genetic variation is a prerequisite for evolutionary adaptation to environmental changes and plays a key role in the survival of a population or a species. However, recent studies indicate that genotypic diversity also has instantaneous effects. High genotypic diversity might enhance population stability due to high probability of presence of resistant genotypes and/or biological insurance. Recent studies showed that clonal diversity may increase primary production, maintain faunal richness and/or abundance, and affect biogeochemical processes, as does species diversity. Mechanisms of clonal diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are discussed.

Key words: clonal diversity, ecosystem functioning, seedling recruitment, additive effects, interactive effects, niche complementarity, primary production, faunal richness and abundance