iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Reproductive allocation of two dioecious Rhamnus species in temperate forests of northeast China

Juan Wang (1), Chunyu Zhang (1), Xiuhai Zhao (1)   , Klaus von Gadow (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 25-32 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1020-007
Published: Oct 14, 2013 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

When a plant increases resource allocation to reproduction from its limited reserves, the allocation to the other functions is reduced. Because of these trade-offs, differences in reproductive allocation are believed to result in relative differences in life history traits. Dioecious plants provide an excellent opportunity for detecting such possible trade-offs in resource allocation. This study aims to present a finding about the gender-based cost of reproductive allocation. The trade-off between reproduction and foliage biomass was examined at different modular levels (shoot/sub-branch, branch, and shrub/tree level). There were no intra-annual trade-offs between reproduction and foliage biomass in either sex of either species at shoot/sub-branch level, branch level and shrub level. Inter-annual trade-offs were detected in females for both species. Inter-annual trade-offs existed at all three different modular levels in R. schneideri females, while the evidence of inter-annual trade-offs was only detected at branch level in R. davurica females. At the population level, the sex ratio was female-biased in 2010, and it did not significantly deviate from 1:1 in 2011 in R. davurica. However, the sex ratios were significantly female-biased in both 2010 and 2011 in R. schneideri. This study has shown that the degree of autonomy of the different plant organs influenced the trade-offs between reproduction and growth, which suggests a species- and sex-dependent modular autonomy.


Inter-annual Trade-off, Intra-annual Trade-off, Dioecious Species, Modular Autonomy

Authors’ address

Juan Wang
Chunyu Zhang
Xiuhai Zhao
The Key Laboratory for Forest Resources & Ecosystem Processes of Beijing, Beijing Forestry University, 100083 Beijing (China)
Klaus von Gadow
Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Büsgenweg 5, D-37077 Göttingen (Germany)

Corresponding author

Xiuhai Zhao


Wang J, Zhang C, Zhao X, von Gadow K (2014). Reproductive allocation of two dioecious Rhamnus species in temperate forests of northeast China. iForest 7: 25-32. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1020-007

Academic Editor

Roberto Tognetti

Paper history

Received: Apr 24, 2013
Accepted: Aug 02, 2013

First online: Oct 14, 2013
Publication Date: Feb 03, 2014
Publication Time: 2.43 months

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