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Aboveground Biomass Partitioning and Invasibility of Sida acuta Burm. f. in Indian dry Tropics

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Botany, I. P. (Post-Graduate) College, Bulandshahr-203001, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (2), Pages 76-82, February,22 (2014)

Abstract

The pantropical malvaceous invasive weed Sida acuta Burm. f. was investigated for its varying morphological traits including its biomass allocation strategy to different above-ground organs at two contrasting sites: bank of polluted Kali river (KRB) and city-vegetation neighbouring the Ganga canal around Yamunapuram (YPM) in a peri-urban region in Indian dry tropics. Sixty plant individuals from each site at differing stage of their growth were clipped off from the base for the biomass measurements of their stem (stem-axis + branch), leaves and reproductive parts (flowers + capsules). The morphological traits studied were: shoot length, basal diameter and number of branches, leaves and flowers/capsules. Surface soil samples of both the study sites were analyzed for soil moisture, pH, organic C, available P and exchangeable K. S. acuta population at YPM site had significantly higher shoot length and stem-axis mass fraction. Biomass partitioning to different components was variable: stem (41-45%), leaf (47-52%) and reproductive parts (14-16%). Mean plasticity indices for plant-level traits were relatively higher at KRB site. Biomass of leaf, stem and reproductive parts was strongly correlated with total aboveground biomass. While leaf allocation declined significantly with plant size, stem allocation increased. Biomass allocation pattern of S. acuta populations did not show significant change with change of study sites in the present study, possibly due to comparable disturbance, soil and site conditions. In conclusion, invasiveness of this alien weed in peri-urban anthropo-ecosystems could be attributed mainly to its superior competitive ability manifested through higher allocation to photosynthetic and support organs.

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