Data from: Variations in ramet performance and the dynamics of an alpine evergreen herb, Gentiana nipponica, in different snowmelt conditions
Kawai, Yuka; Kudo, Gaku (2019), Data from: Variations in ramet performance and the dynamics of an alpine evergreen herb, Gentiana nipponica, in different snowmelt conditions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tg20p4k
Premise of the study: Variation in demographic parameters reflects the life-history strategies of plants in response to specific environments. We aimed to investigate the intraspecific variation in life-history traits of a clonal alpine herb, Gentiana nipponica, in various snowmelt conditions. Methods: Individual ramets within genets accumulate leaves for 7-9 years without shedding, and die after reproduction. We tested the physiological function of accumulated leaves for reproduction and monitored the ramet demography in early, intermediate, and late snowmelt populations over 3 years. Then, we simulated ramet dynamics using the demographic parameters. Key results: Old leaves had a carbon storage function, and the initiation of reproduction depended on the amount of ramet leaves. Growth and reproductive performance were highest in the population with an intermediate snowmelt period. The early snowmelt population showed short persistence periods due to restricted growth and high mortality of the ramets. The late snowmelt populations showed slow growth, but high survival rate of the ramets, in which the ramet size at reproduction was smallest and fruit formation was often suppressed by the short growing period. Conclusions: Limiting factors dictating the distribution of G. nipponica differed between the early and late snowmelt habitats. High mortality and restricted growth, because of the harsh environment, determine the distribution limit toward earlier snowmelt locations. In contrast, late snowmelt strongly limited fecundity because of the short period for fruit maturation. The difference in snowmelt time provides a clear gradient of selective forces that may promote local adaptation among neighboring populations. If you would like your personal information to be removed from the database, please contact the publication office.