Allocation, growth and estimated population structure of Corydalis aquae-gelidae, a rare riparian plant
Goldenberg, Douglas M.
Zobel, Donald B.
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The pattern of biomass allocation to roots, shoots and reproductive parts, the growth rate, and the population structure, in terms of both stages of development and age, were determined for Corydalis aquae-gelidae. The species bad a relatively high allocation to belowground structures (adult belowground/aboveground ratio of about 2), largely in the form of starch storage tissue. The allocation to reproduction was relatively low (8%). The growth rate was slow, with an estimated 7 years (6-9 years, with 95% confidence) required for reproductive maturity. This herbaceous perennial appeared to be a stress-tolerator, whose populations would not rebound quickly after disturbance. The population age structure, estimated from a growth model and size measurement of 25 plants in successive years, implied successful reproduction. The methods developed here provided management-related information, including estimates of growth rates, population structure and current reproductive success, as well as probable response to disturbance and the species' successional status. These methods required only two years of data, and could be used for other herbaceous perennials