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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 272-280.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2023.02.012

• Physiology and Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Responses of Biomass Allocation to Population Density and Soil Water in Abutilon theophrasti at Different Growth Stages

Kenian LINGHU, Shu WANG()   

  1. Forestry College,Forest Ecology Research Center,Guizhou University,Guiyang 550025
  • Received:2022-05-20 Online:2023-03-20 Published:2023-03-07
  • Contact: Shu WANG E-mail:lnbx625@163.com
  • About author:LINGHU Kenian(1996—),female,master,mainly engaged in restoration ecology.
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31800335);Guizhou Province Science and Technology Fundamental Research Program(Qiankehe[2019]No.1089)


To reveal the strategies of plants in dealing with biotic and abiotic envrionmental factors through investigating responses of biomass allocation to soil water and population density at different growth stages, in this experiment, we subjected plants of an annual herbaceous species of Abutilon theophrasti to treatments of water addition and no addition(control). Within each treatment, low, medium, and high densities were set up under field conditions, before measuring dry mass of root, stem, lamina, petiole and reproductive(flower and fruit) organs at day 20 and 50 of growth, to explore how biomass allocation of A. theophrasti respond to density and water addition, and effects of growth stage. Results showed at day 20, in water-added soil, compared to that at low density, medium density increased root mass ratio by 19.4% and root/shoot ratio by 21.5%, but decreased leaf mass ratio by 34.4%, with no response to density in biomass allocation in no-water-added soil(control). At day 50, in controlled soil, high relative to low density reduced total biomass by 63.5%; in both water treatments, high relative to low density reduced root/shoot ratio and root mass ratio, but increased stem mass ratio, with total mass and allocations of other organs unaffected. Results suggest that the additon of water is more likely to promote the active response(increase) of root mass allocation to increased density at early stage, and mitigated passive responses(decrease) of total biomass at later stage. The responses of biomass allocation to density may depend on the strength of intraspecific interactions, and at the early stage moderate level of interactions among plants will more likely lead to facilitation underground, promoting the active responses of roots, and moderate interactions among plants at medium density can also promote active responses of roots to water addition. Growth stage can modify the strength of plant-plant interactions via affecting plant size, and further affect the responses of biomass allocation to density and water availability.

Key words: Biomass allocation, facilitation, increased density, intraspecific interaction, water availability, growth stage

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