Reproductive and vegetative growth patterns in Yucca elata Engelm. (Liliaceae)

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Biomass allocated to reproductive structures in Yucca elata was compared to net leaf growth over a three year period (1971-1973) on two sites in southern New Mexico. Reproductive effort in Y. elata is dependent on the pattern of precipitational inputs, with significant inputs in the spring and previous winter having the greatest effect. Vegetative growth is curtailed during periods of reproductive growth, probably due to the large amount of energy allocated to reproductive structures. Thus, intervening periods of good vegetative growth may be necessary before a high energy cost inflorescence stalk can be produced. Cattle were found to have a major grazing impact on inflorescence stalks of smaller plants.


Inflorescence stalk; New Mexico; Plant growth; Plant reproduction; Yucca


Plant Biology

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