Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (11): 1164-1171.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0201

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Response of resource allocation of Saussurea leontodontoides during its fruiting stage to the elevation

LI Lei, WANG Yi-Feng*(), GOU Wen-Xia, MA Wen-Mei, JIANG Chun-Ling   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2020-06-19 Accepted:2020-10-12 Online:2020-11-20 Published:2020-11-26
  • Contact: WANG Yi-Feng
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31460105)

Abstract:

Aims Our objective is to study the differences between the reproduction characteristics and resource allocation of Saussurea leontodontoides in the fruiting stage across six levels of the elevation gradient, and analyze the relationship between the above two parameters and individual size of S. leontodontoides.
Methods The study site is located in the northeastern margin of the Qingzang Plateau. The collection and investigation were carried out on the fruiting individuals of S. leontodontoides which were distributed in an elevation range of 3 200-4 540 m. 40 complete individuals were randomly collected from each level of the elevation. The number of seeds in each capitulum was counted, then the biomass was measured after drying at 80 °C in the oven. The differences between the reproduction characteristics and resource allocation of S. leontodontoides at different levels of the elevation gradient were analyzed by ANOVA. The relationship between the reproduction characteristics with individual size, resource allocation with individual size at different levels of the elevation gradient was analyzed by the allometric model.
Important findings Our results showed that: 1) The individual size, reproductive organ biomass, vegetative organ biomass, seed number and vegetative allocation were negatively correlated with elevation; the hundred grain mass and reproductive allocation were positively correlated with elevation. 2) Along the elevation gradient, the hundred grain mass, the seed number, the reproductive organs biomass and the vegetative allocation were positively correlated with individual size; reproductive allocation was negatively related to individual size; and vegetative organ biomass and individual size were significantly positively correlated. This indicates that the elevation and individual size had different effects on the reproductive strategy of S. leontodontoides. Our study suggests that S. leontodontoides adapted to the high-elevation stress environment by increasing the reproductive organs biomass and the hundred grain mass.

Key words: elevation, Saussurea leontodontoides, allometric model, reproductive allocation