Provenance, genotype, and flooding influence growth and resource acquisition characteristics in a clonal, riparian shrub

American Journal of Botany
By: , and 




Riparian plants can exhibit intraspecific phenotypic variability across the landscape related to temperature and flooding gradients. Phenotypes that vary across a climate gradient are often partly genetically determined and may differ in their response to inundation. Changes to inundation patterns across a climate gradient could thus result in site-specific inundation responses. Phenotypic variability is more often studied in riparian trees, yet riparian shrubs are key elements of riparian systems and may differ from trees in phenotypic variability and environmental responses.


We tested if individuals of a clonal, riparian shrub, Pluchea sericea, collected from provenances spanning a temperature gradient differed in their phenotypes and responses to inundation and to what degree such differences were related to genotype. Plants were subjected to different inundation depths and a subset genotyped. Variables related to growth and resource acquisition were measured and analyzed using hierarchical, multivariate Bayesian linear regressions.


Individuals from different provenances differed in their phenotypes, but not in their response to inundation. Phenotypes were not related to provenance temperature but were partially governed by genotype. Growth was more strongly influenced by inundation, while resource acquisition was more strongly controlled by genotype.


Growth and resource acquisition responses in a clonal, riparian shrub are affected by changes to inundation and plant demographics in unique ways. Shrubs appear to differ from trees in their responses to environmental change. Understanding environmental effects on shrubs separately from those of trees will be a key part of evaluating environmental change impacts on riparian ecosystems.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Provenance, genotype, and flooding influence growth and resource acquisition characteristics in a clonal, riparian shrub
Series title American Journal of Botany
DOI 10.1002/ajb2.16115
Volume 110
Issue 2
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher Botanical Society of America
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center, Southwest Biological Science Center
Description e16115, 14 p.
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