Sprout recruitment and self-thinning of Erica multiflora after clipping

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Regrowth after clipping and the effect of local competition were studied in a natural population of Erica multiflora in a Mediterranean shrubland, by removing neighbours at 1 and 2 m around the target plants during four growing seasons. Removal of surrounding natural vegetation increased the number, the density (number of sprouts per stump area) and the biomass of the sprouts growing from clipped plants. Target plants ònly interacted with their near neighbours. Target plants had a negative relative increment in the number of sprouts per stump during the 18 months immediately following treatment, but a positive increment thereafter, which suggests that there was a constant or episodic recruitment of sprouts within the stump after clipping. Competition treatment had a non-significant effect on the negative increment of sprouts per stump. The self-thinning trajectory was different for the different competition treatments: there was an allometric negative relationship between density of sprouts and mean biomass of survivors during all sampling periods in genets without neighbours in a 1-m radius; the self-thinning trajectory of sprouts in genets without neighbours in a 2-m radius was short, a net increase in sprouts per stump area was accompanied by an increase in mean sprout biomass 30 months after clipping. During the same period, however, plants with neighbours showed a decline in both the sprout biomass and density. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1995


  • Continual basal sprouting
  • Erica multiflora
  • Neighbourhood competition
  • Resprouting
  • Self-thinning of sprouts


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