Friday, November 18, 2011

Ramet ‘germination’ in Poa sierrae

My dormant ramets of Poa sierrae, collected at the type station on 1 August 2011, were potted up soon thereafter and were kept well watered throughout the late summer.  Not until daylength began to shorten about Halloween, and the wet season returned, did they begin new growth, however.  In this view, the ramet piece shown in the middle photo of the 18 September 2011 post on Poa sierrae has grown out, and a secondary ramet has formed.  Ramet reproduction thus seems to be a strong tendency under gene (vs. allelic) control in this member of Madropoa.    In some respects, the strength of ramet reproduction contradicts the narrow geographic range of this Sierra Nevada dioecious endemic: it seems odd, because on the surface the ease of vegetative  reproduction would otherwise be characteristic of a vagile or even invasive species of grass.  Go figure.

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