Performance benefits of growth-form plasticity in a clonal red seaweed

Monro, Keyne and Poore, Alistair G. B. (2009) Performance benefits of growth-form plasticity in a clonal red seaweed. Biological Journal of The Linnean Society, 97 1: 80-89. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01186.x


Author Monro, Keyne
Poore, Alistair G. B.
Title Performance benefits of growth-form plasticity in a clonal red seaweed
Journal name Biological Journal of The Linnean Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-4066
1095-8312
Publication date 2009-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01186.x
Open Access Status
Volume 97
Issue 1
Start page 80
End page 89
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject 0699 Other Biological Sciences
Abstract Phenotypic plasticity may be adaptive if the phenotype expressed in a focal environment performs better there relative to alternative phenotypes. Plasticity in morphology may particularly benefit modular organisms that must tolerate environmental change with limited mobility, yet this hypothesis has rarely been evaluated for the modular inhabitants of subtidal marine environments. We test the hypothesis for Asparagopsis armata, a clonal red seaweed whose growth-form plasticity across light environments is consistent with the concept of foraging behaviour in clonal plants. We manipulated the light intensity to obtain clonal replicates of compact, densely branched (‘phalanx’) phenotypes and elongate, sparsely branched (‘guerrilla’) phenotypes, which we reciprocally transplanted between inductive light environments to explore the performance consequences of a poor phenotype–environment match. Consistent with the hypothesis of adaptive plasticity, we found that performance (as relative growth rate) depended significantly on the interaction between growth form and environment. Each growth form performed better in its inductive environment than the alternative form, implying that this type of plasticity, thought to be adaptive for clonal plants, may also benefit photoautotrophs in marine environments. Given the prevalence and diversity of modular phyla in such systems, they offer a relatively unexplored opportunity to broaden our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of phenotypic plasticity. © 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 97, 80–89.
Keyword Clonal Growth
Biomass-density relationship
Modular organisms
Phenotypic plasticity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 21 APR 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 18:14:48 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences