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Crowding in clonal seaweeds: does self-thinning occur in Mastocarpus papillatus shortly before stand biomass peaks?
Scrosati, R. (2006). Crowding in clonal seaweeds: does self-thinning occur in Mastocarpus papillatus shortly before stand biomass peaks? Aquat. Bot. 84(3): 233-238. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2005.10.003
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Clones; Size; Stocking density; Gigartinales [WoRMS]; Mastocarpus papillatus (C.Agardh) Kützing, 1843 [WoRMS]; Petrocelidaceae [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Scrosati, R.

Abstract
    Fronds from crowded stands of clonal seaweeds, particularly those in which holdfasts are mostly perennial and are the major source of new fronds every year, are thought not to undergo self-thinning during the growth season, unlike those from crowded stands of unitary seaweeds. For clonal seaweeds, it is not known, however, what happens at the very end of the growth season, when crowding is highest for the year. By sampling twice more frequently than previously done for similar species, the possible occurrence of frond self-thinning was tested for Mastocarpus papillatus (Rhodophyta, Gigartinales, Petrocelidaceae) from western Canada during the growth season (spring) of 2003. Initially, stand biomass increased together with frond density, as found previously for similar clonal seaweeds. Shortly before stand biomass peaked for the year (June), frond density remained statistically unchanged. Thus, the increased sampling precision of this study confirms that fronds of these clonal seaweeds do not undergo self-thinning, not even shortly before crowding is highest. Frond size inequality for M. papillatus remained statistically similar during the growth season, which is also consistent with a model of no self-thinning. There are similarities in biomass–density dynamics and in size inequality dynamics between clonal seaweeds and clonal vascular plants.

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