NCEAS Project 12100

The allometry of reproduction in plant populations

  • Jacob Weiner

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st September 2007—31st August 2008Participant List  

Growth and reproduction are two of the most fundamental processes for plants. After a plant produces biomass, it allocates this biomass to different structures and functions, among them reproduction. Most allocation patterns can be better understood in terms of size than in terms of time, so an allometric approach to allocation is needed. While there has been much recent research on broad allometric scaling relationships among species, the allometry of reproduction within populations is a very different question, which has not been given sufficient attention. The objective of the proposed research is to gather and analyze as much relevant data as possible on the allometry of reproductive allocation within plant populations to address the following questions: (1) Is there a general pattern of size-dependent reproductive output within plant species? (2) Is there a tradeoff between the minimum size for reproduction and allocation to reproduction above that minimum size? (3) When are size-fecundity relationships plastic, and when is reproductive output solely a function of size and fixed allometric allocation patterns? These questions are fundamental to plant population ecology and evolution, and for optimizing the use of resources in plant production systems.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Chu, Chengjin; Maestre, Fernando T.; Xiao, Sa; Weiner, Jacob; Wang, You-Shi; Duan, Zheng-Hu; Wang, Gang. 2008. Balance between facilitation and resource competition determines biomass-density relationships in plant populations. Ecology Letters. Vol: 11. Pages 1189-1197.
Journal Article Damgaard, Christian; Weiner, Jacob. 2008. Modeling the growth of individuals in crowded plant populations. Journal of Plant Ecology. Vol: 1(2). Pages 111-116.
Data Set Weiner, Jacob. 2008. Summary of Reproductive Output Relationships with Plant Populations. (Online version)
Journal Article Weiner, Jacob; Campbell, Lesley G.; Pino, Joan; Echarte, Laura. 2009. The allometry of reproduction within plant populations. Journal of Ecology. Vol: 97(6). Pages 1220–1233.
Journal Article Wyszomirski, T.; Weiner, Jacob. 2009. Variation in local density results in a positive correlation between plant neighbor sizes. American Naturalist. Vol: 173(5). Univ. Chicago Press. Pages 705-708.