Sexual dimorphism in clonal growth forms and ramet distribution patterns in Rumex acetosella (Polygonaceae)

Teruya Fujitaka, Satoki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated clonal traits in the dioecious herb Rumex acetosella to characterize sexual dimorphism in clonal forms and to correlate below-ground clonal patterns and above-ground ramet distributions. We recorded creeping root length, branching patterns, ramet and clump (caespitose ramets from the same position on the root) sprouting patterns, and biomass allocations in three females and males. We also estimated the patch size of flowering ramets within a quadrat. No sexual dimorphism was detected in the frequencies of branches and flowering ramets per root length. Male plants allocated proportionally more biomass to below-ground organs. Total root length did not differ between the sexes. Females sprouted more clumps with fewer flowering ramets per root length than males, which sprouted fewer clumps with more flowering ramets, which meant that clump sprouting patterns were phalanx-like in females and guerrilla-like in males. Flowering ramets were aggregately distributed in both females and males and patch sizes were similar between sexes, indicating that the spreader propagations were not found in the guerrilla-like males. We assumed that sexual dimorphism occurred in response to physiological integration for higher reproductive effort in females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar


  • Clonal growth form
  • Polygonaceae
  • Rumex acetosella
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Spatial distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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