Clonal Plants

Clonal growth in plants is an important cross-cutting theme in our lab.  Clonality confers numerous adaptive advantages within plant populations that are analogous to animal behavior.  It allows for the possibility of resource foraging through ramet placement and resource sharing in heterogeneous environments. Following up on past research in my lab, we are currently examining how physiological integration and phenotypic plasticity allow clonal plants to ameliorate the effects of grazing and sand burial in a dune environment. Movement through the growth of rhizomes can facilitate the spatial segregation sexes in clonal plants that are sexually dimorphic.  We are currently examining the role of clonality as its affects spatial genetic structure of rhizomatous plant species that form extensive long-lived clones.