Neighbour effects on Erica multiflora (Ericaceae) reproductive performance after clipping

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The effect of interspecific competition on resprouting and reproductive success and the relationship between above-ground vegetative biomass variability and reproductive biomass variability were analysed during resprouting after clipping. For this purpose, a field experiment was performed by removing neighbours around individuals of Erica multiflora in a Mediterranean shrub community. Removal of neighbours increased the number of sprouts and the above-ground vegetative biomass of target plants. However, it did not decrease plant size variability. Neighbours decreased the likelihood of fruiting and the biomass of fruits. In target plants that had set fruits a simple allometric relationship between above-ground vegetative biomass and the biomass of fruits explained 42 % of the variation in fruit biomass. The probability to set fruits at a given plant size was smaller in plants with neighbours than without neighbours. Presence of neighbours also increased the variability of fruit biomass within the population, because 50 % of target plants with neighbours did not set fruits. This failure to set fruits may be related to shading, the small size of plants with neighbours, as well as a delay in development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
JournalActa Oecologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Multispecific neighbourhood
  • Reproductive variability
  • Resprouting
  • Size variability
  • Size-dependent reproduction


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