Data from: The dynamics of recovery and growth: how defoliation affects stored resources
Atkinson, Rebecca R. L. et al. (2015), Data from: The dynamics of recovery and growth: how defoliation affects stored resources, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c8qn1
Growth rate varies widely among species and the trade-off between growth rate and storage or maintenance traits is a principal axis of variation between species. Many plant species have substantial root stores, but very little is known about how growth rate modifies responses of these stores to defoliation and other stresses. Species with different growth rates are predicted to respond in distinct ways, because of variation in the pre-defoliation allocation to storage. Here, we quantified the dynamics of stored carbohydrates in seven species with varying growth rate, following defoliation in a pot experiment. For faster growing species, there was significant reduction in carbohydrate concentration following defoliation, followed by relatively fast recovery, whereas for slower growing species, carbohydrate concentration levels remained relatively invariant across treatments. Results for total carbohydrates mirrored those for concentration, but were not as significant. Our findings were consistent with the idea that faster growing species respond more rapidly than slower growers to defoliation, through changes in carbohydrate pool concentrations. Growth rate as an indicator of life-history and ecological strategy may therefore be key to understanding post-defoliation recovery and storage strategies.