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How do shoot clipping and tuber harvesting combine to affect Bolboschoenus maritimus recovery capacities?

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In French Mediterranean wetlands, the combined effects of predation of tubers by wildlife and grazing of aboveground tissue by livestock on the recovery capacities of Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla are not well known. A container study was conducted that applied tuber harvests at varying levels (20%–90%) and shoot clipping (with or without). Response to harvesting and clipping was recorded as changes in total biomass, number, and mean mass of tubers (calculation of variation indexes). Bolboschoenusmaritimus failed to recover from even the lowest tuber harvesting level of 20% and the total number of tubers and biomass decreased. A significant decrease in mean tuber mass over time and approximately no production of new tubers accounted for this absence of compensatory response. The harvesting level had a linear effect on the variation indices of total number of tubers and mean tuber mass. By separating the relative effect of shoot clipping from that of tuber harvesting alone, the results showed that clipping had an additive effect on mean tuber mass, reducing it by about 20%, without any effect on tuber number. The absence of compensatory response under our experimental conditions suggests that clonal plant regrowth partially depends on post-disturbance environmental conditions in the growing season, in our case, dry conditions.

Dans les zones humides méditerranéennes, les effets combinés de la prédation des tubercules par la faune sauvage et du pâturage des parties aériennes par le bétail sur les capacités de régénération de Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla demeurent peu connus. Nous avons conduit une étude en containers consistant en des niveaux croissants de prélèvement de tubercules (20–90 %), avec ou sans coupe des parties aériennes. La réponse des clones au prélèvement des tubercules ou à la coupe a été estimée selon le changement de biomasse totale, le nombre et la masse moyenne des tubercules (calcul d’indices de variation). Nous n’avons constaté aucune régénération même pour le niveau de prélèvement le plus faible (20 %). Le nombre ainsi que la biomasse totale de tubercules ont diminué. Une baisse significative de la masse moyenne des tubercules et pratiquement aucune production de nouveaux tubercules sont à l’origine de cette absence de réponse. Le niveau de prélèvement a montré un effet linéaire sur les indices de variations du nombre total de tubercules et de la masse moyenne des tubercules. En séparant l’effet de la coupe du prélèvement seul, les résultats montrent que celle-ci a un effet additif sur la masse moyenne des tubercules, la diminuant d’environ 20 %, sans affecter le nombre de tubercules. L’absence de réponse compensatoire dans nos conditions expérimentales suggère que la régénération des plantes clonales dépend, au moins en partie, des conditions environnementales après perturbation, dans notre cas, le niveau d’humidité des containers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal features comprehensive research articles and notes in all segments of plant sciences, including cell and molecular biology, ecology, mycology and plant-microbe interactions, phycology, physiology and biochemistry, structure and development, genetics, systematics, and phytogeography. It also publishes commentary and review articles on topics of current interest, contributed by internationally recognized scientists.

    Previously published as the Canadian Journal of Botany
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