Main content area

Narrow endemic species Bellevalia webbiana shows significant intraspecific variation in tertiary CSR strategy

Astuti, G., Ciccarelli, D., Roma-Marzio, F., Trinco, A., Peruzzi, L.
Plant biosystems 2019 v.153 no.1 pp. 12-18
case studies, habitats, indigenous species, intraspecific variation, leaf area, leaves
Insufficient attention has been devoted to inter-population and inter-individual variability of CSR strategy. Hence, we selected Bellevalia webbiana as a case study for answering the following questions: (1) is there a significant intraspecific variability in leaf traits determining a significant intraspecific variability in CSR parameters, even in a narrow endemic species with a relatively homogeneous habitat? (2) If yes, does this provide a significant intraspecific CSR strategy variation? For five populations, we calculated C, S, and R parameters using leaf area, leaf fresh weight, and leaf dry weight for 10 individuals each. We found that Bellevalia webbiana is a “CS” species considering single individuals, populations or the “whole species”. However, our data suggest a significant loss of information if the species is plotted as a single average point, and attest for population-based plasticity, highlighting the applicability of CSR theory at micro-evolutionary scale. When heterogeneity in coefficients of variation (CVs) is higher for the “whole species”, “deviant” populations should be retained as additional points. Hence, we advise to perform CSR analyses on more populations and verify the applicability of a single ternary set to represent the “whole species” using PERMANOVA, complemented by simple CV comparison for each parameter.