Do sexual dimorphisms in reproductive allocation and new shoot biomass increase with an increase of altitude? A case of the shrub willow Salix reinii (Salicaceae)

Akiko Sakai, Ayako Sasa, Satoki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on the general tendency for females of dioecious plants to pay higher reproductive cost than males, it has been predicted that females should have much more reduced reproductive outputs and diminished vegetative production than males in energy-limited habitats. Nevertheless, this prediction has rarely been directly investigated. We investigated altitudinal changes in reproductive biomass and shoot production, normalized by plant size, for females and males of a shrub willow, Salix reinii, on Mt. Hakkoda, northeast Japan. Females maintained higher reproductive biomass than males at all altitudes; however, reproductive allocation for both sexes tended to decrease at a similar rate with an increase in altitude. Moreover, females vegetatively produced at the same rate as males at all altitudes. These findings suggest that females have a mechanism to compensate for the extra investment in reproduction irrespective of a changing environment. Shoot production did not change with altitude, suggesting that S. reinii gave priority to vegetative investment at the cost of reproductive output at higher altitudes. Inconsistent with general predictions, females did not respond more sensitively than males to severe environmental conditions in either reproductive allocation or shoot production, despite much higher resource investment in reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-992
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume93
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Altitudinal gradient
  • Annual shoot production
  • Dioecious shrub
  • Mt. Hakkoda, Japan
  • Reproductive cost
  • Reproductive effort
  • Salicaceae
  • Salix reinii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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