Clonal growth forms in Arctic plants and their habitat preferences: a study from Petuniabukta, Spitsbergen

Open access


The ability to grow clonally is generally considered important for plants in Arctic regions but analyses of clonal characteristics are lacking for entire plant communities. To fill this gap, we assessed the clonal growth of 78 plant species in the Petuniabukta region, central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), and analyzed the clonal and other life-history traits in the re- gional flora and plant communities with respect to environmental gradients. We distin- guished five categories of clonal growth organs: perennial main roots produced by non- clonal plants, epigeogenous rhizomes, hypogeogenous rhizomes, bulbils, and stolons. Clonal growth differed among communities of the Petuniabukta region: non-clonal plants prevailed in open, early-successional communities, but clonal plants prevailed in wetlands. While the occurrence of plants with epigeogenous rhizomes was unrelated to stoniness or slope, the occurrence of plants with hypogeogenous rhizomes diminished with increasing stoniness of the substratum. Although the overall proportion of clonal plants in the flora of the Petuniabukta region was comparable to that of central Europe, the flora of the Petunia- bukta region had fewer types of clonal growth organs, a slower rate of lateral spread, and a different proportion of the two types of rhizomes.

ALEXANDROVA V.D. 1983. Vegetation of polar deserts of USSR. Nauka, Leningrad: 141 pp.

BARKMAN J.J. 1988. New systems of plant growth forms and phenological plant types. In: M.J.A. Werger, P.J.M. van der Aart, H.J. During and J.T.A. Verhoeven (eds) Plant form and vegetation structure. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague: 9-44.

BAUERT M.R. 1996. Genetic diversity and ecotypic differentiation in Arctic and alpine populations of Polygonum viviparum. Arctic and Alpine Research 28: 190-195.

CALLAGHAN T.V. and EMANUALSON U. 1985. Population structure and processes of tundra plants and vegetation. In: J. White (ed.) The population structure of vegetation. Junk Publishing, Dordrecht: 399-439.

CALLAGHAN T.V., JONASSON S. and BROOKER R.W. 1997. Arctic clonal plants and global change. In: H. de Kroon and J.M. van Groenendael (eds) The ecology and evolution of clonal plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden: 381-403.

de Bello F., Doležal j., Dvorský M., Chlumská Z., Řeháková K., Klimešová J. and KLIMEŠ L. 2011. Cushion plants do not facilitate other plants under extreme altitude and dry conditions: evidence from NW Himalaya. Annals of Botany 108: 567-573.

DEN HARTOG C. and SEGAL S. 1964. A new classification of water-plant communities. Acta Bota- nica Neerlandica 13:367-393.

DRUDE O. 1887. Deutschlands Pflanzengeographie. Handbuch Deutsch Landes-Volksk 4: 1-502.

DU RIETZ G.E. 1931. Life-forms of terrestrial flowering plants. Acta Phytogeographica Suecica 3: 1-95.

ElVEBAKK A. and PRESTRUD P. (eds) 1996. A catalogue of Svalbard plants, fungi, algae and cyano­bacteria. Norwegian Polar Institute, Oslo: 395 pp.

GIMINGHAM C.H. 1951. The use of life form and growth form in the analysis of community structure, as illustrated by a comparison of two dune communities. Journal of Ecology 39: 396-406.

GRIME J.P. 2006. Trait convergence and trait divergence in herbaceous plant communities: mecha­nisms and consequences. Journal of Vegetation Sciences 17: 255-260.

GRISEBACH A. 1872. Die Vegetation der Erde nach ihrer klimatischen Anordnung I, II. W. Engel- mann, Leipzig: 603 pp. and 635 pp.

HAGEN D. 2002. Propagation of native Arctic and alpine species with a restoration potential. Polar Research 21: 37-47.

HALLÉ F., OLDEMAN R.A.A. and TOMLINSON P.B. 1978. Tropical trees and forests. An architec­tural analysis. Springer Verlag, New York: 441 pp.

HALLOY S. 1990. A morphological classification of plants, with special reference to the New Zealand alpine flora. Journal of Vegetation Science 1: 291-304.

HARTMANN H. 1957. Studien uber die vegetative Fortpflanzung in den Hochalpen. Bischofberger & Co., Buchdruckerei Untertor, Chur: 169 pp.

HEJNÝ S. 1960. Okologische Charakteristik der Wasser- und Sumpfpflanzen in der slowakischen Tiefebenen (Donau und Theissgebiet). SAV, Bratislava: 487 pp.

HESS E. 1909. Uber die Wuchsformen der alpinen Gerollpflanzen. Arbeit aus dem Botanischen Mu­seum des eidg. Polytechnikum Zurich, Druck von C. Heinrich, Dresden: 170 pp.

JONASSON S. and CALLAGHAN T.V. 1992. Root mechanical properties related to disturbed and stressed habitats in the Arctic. New Phytologist 122: 179-186.

JÓNSDÓTTIR I.S. 2011. Diversity of plant life histories in the Arctic. Preslia 83: 281-300.

JÓNSDÓTTIR I.S., CALLAGHAN T.V. and HEADLEY A.D. 1996. Resource dynamics within Arctic clonal plants. Ecological Bulletin 45: 53-64.

KáSTNER A. and KaRRER G. 1995. Ubersicht der Wuchsformtypen als Grundlage fur deren Erfassung in der “Flora von Osterreich”. Florae Austriacae Novitales 3: 1-51.

KJØLNER S., SASTAD S.M. and BROCHMANN C. 2006. Clonality and recombination in the Arctic plant Saxifraga cernua. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 152: 209-217.

KLIMEŠ L. 2003. Life-forms and clonality of vascular plants along an altitudinal gradient in E Ladakh (NW Himalayas). Basic and Applied Ecology 4: 317-328.

KLIMEŠ L. 2008. Clonal splitters and integrators in harsh environments of the Trans-Himalaya. Evo­lutionary Ecology 22: 351-367.

Klimeš L., Klimešová J., Hendriks R. and van Groenendael J. 1997. Clonal plant architecture: a comparative analysis of form and function. In: H. de Kroon and J. van Groenendael (eds) The ecology and evolution of clonal plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden: 1-29.

KLIMEŠOVÁ J. and DE Bello F. 2009. CLO-PLA: the database of clonal and bud bank traits of Cen­tral European flora. Journal of Vegetation Sciences 20: 511-516.

KLIMEŠOVÁ J. and DOLEŽAL J. 2011. Are clonal plants more frequent in cold environments than elsewhere? Plant Ecology and Diversity 4: 373-378.

KLIMEŠOVÁ J. and KLIMEŠ L. 2006. CLO-PLA3: a database of clonal growth architecture of Cen- tral-European plants. 3rd March 2011.

KLIMEŠOVÁ J. and KLIMEŠ L. 2008. Clonal growth diversity and bud banks in the Czech flora: an evaluation using the CLO-PLA3 database. Preslia 80: 255-275.

Klimešová j., Doležal j., Dvorský M., de Bello F. and Klimeš L. 2011a. Clonal growth forms in eastern Ladakh, Western Himalayas: classification and habitat preferences. Folia Geo- botanica 46: 191-217.

KLIMEŠOVÁ j., Doležal J. and SAMMUL M. 2011b. Evolutionary and organismic constraints on the relationship between spacer length and environmental conditions in clonal plants. Oikos 120: 1110-1120.

KOMÁRKOVÁ V. and McKeNDRICK J.D. 1988. Patterns in vascular plant growth forms in Arctic communities and environment at Atkasook, Alaska. In: M.J.A.Werger, P.J.M. van der Aart, H.J. During and J.T.A. Verhoeven (eds) Plant form and vegetation structure: adaptation, plasticity and relation to herbivory. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague: 45-70.

KRUMBIEGEL A. 1998. Growth forms of annual vascular plants in central Europe. Nordic Journal of Botany 18: 563-575.

KRUMBIEGEL A. 1999. Growth forms of biennial and pluriennial vascular plants in central Europe. Nordic Journal of Botany 19: 217-226.

ŁUKASIEWICZ A. 1962. Morfologiczno-rozwojowe typy bylin. Poznańskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk, Prace Komisji Biologicznej 27: 1-398.

MATVEYEVA N.V. 1994. Floristic classification and ecology of tundra vegetation of the Taymyr paninsula, Northern Siberia. Journal of Vegetation Science 5: 813-828.

NAKHUTSRISHVILI G.S. and GAMTSEMLIDZE Z.G. 1984. Plant life in extreme high mountain condi­tions: with the example from the Central Caucasus. Nauka, Leningrad: 123 pp.

PARSONS D.J. 1976. Vegetation structure in the Mediterranean scrub community of California and Chile. Journal of Ecology 64: 435-447.

POKARZHEVSKAYA G.A. 1995. Morphological analyses of alpine communities of the north-western Caucasus. Folia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica 30: 197-210.

POLOZOVAT.G. 1981. Life forms of vascular plants in different subzones of the Taimyr Tundra. Bul­letin of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R, Biological series 56: 265-281.

PRACH K., Klimešová j., KOŠNAR j., ReDCHEKO O. and HaIS M. 2012. Variability of contemporary vegetation around Petuniabukta, central Spitsbergen. Polish Polar Research 33 (4): 383-394

RaUNKIAER C. 1907. Planterigets Livsformer og deres Betydning for Geografien. Munskgaard, Co­penhagen: 132 pp.

Raynolds M.K., Walker D.A., Munger C.A., Vonlanthen C.M. and KADE A.N. 2008. A map analysis of patterned-ground along a north American Arctic Transect. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 113 G3: G03S03.

R DEVELOPMENT Core Team 2009. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. ISBN 3-900051-07-0:

RØNNING O.I. 1996. The flora of Svalbard. Norsk Polarinstitut, Oslo: 184 pp.

RUSCH G.M., WiLMANN B., KLIMEŠOVÁ J. and EVJU M. 2011. Do clonal and bud bank traits vary in correspondence with soil properties and resource acquisition strategies? Patterns in alpine com­munities in the Scandian mountains. Folia Geobotanica 46: 237-254.

SEREBRJAKOV I.G. 1964. Zhiznennyje formy vysshikh rastenij i ich izuchenije. In: E.M. Lavrenko and A.A. Korchagin (eds) Field geobotany. Nauka, Moskva: 146-205.

SOSNOVÁ M., van DiGGELEN R. and Klimešová J. 2010. Distribution of clonal growth forms in wetlands. Aquatic Botany 92: 33-39.

SOSNOVÁ M., van DIGGELEN R., Macek P. and Klimešová J. 2011. Distribution of clonal growth traits among wetland habitats. Aquatic Botany 95: 88-93.

TER BRAAK C.J.F. and ŠMILAUER P. 1998. CANOCO reference manual and user’s guide to Canoco for Windows. Microcomputer Power, Ithaca: 352 pp.

van Groenendael J.M., Klimeš L., Klimešová J. and Hendriks R.J.J. 1996. Comparative ecol­ogy of clonal plants. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society, London 351: 1331-1339.

VON HUMBOLDT A. 1806. Ideen zu einer Phisiognomik der Gewachse. Cotta, Stuttgart: 28 pp.

VON LAMPE M. 1999. Vorschlag zur Bezeichnung der Innovations- und Uberdauerungsorgane bei den terrestrischen Stauden Zentraleuropas. Beitrage zur Biologie der Pflanzen 71: 335-367.

WARMING E. 1908. The structure and biology of Arctic flowering plants I. Ericineae (Ericaceae, Pirolaceae). Meddelelser om Gronland 36: 2-71.

WARMING E. 1909. The structure and biology of Arctic flowering plants IV. Saxifragaceae. Meddelelser om Gronland 36: 172-236.

WARMING E. 1923. Okologiens Grundformer. Kongelike Danske Vedenskabernes Selskabs Skrifter, Naturvidenskabelig og Mathematisk Avdelning 8: 120-187.

WINKLER E., MARCANTE S. and ERSCHBAMER B. 2010. Demographic Consequences of the Two Reproductive Modes in Poa alpina L. along a Primary Succession Gradient in the Central Alps. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 42: 227-235.

Polish Polar Research

The Journal of Committee on Polar Research of Polish Academy of Sciences

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.636
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.121

CiteScore 2016: 1.20

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.556
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.645

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 624 484 61
PDF Downloads 123 89 4