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Polish Polar Research

The Journal of Committee on Polar Research of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Clonal growth forms in Arctic plants and their habitat preferences: a study from Petuniabukta, Spitsbergen

Jitka Klimešová
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jiří Doležal
  • Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
  • Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, CZ-37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Karel Prach
  • Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
  • Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, CZ-37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jiří Košnar
  • Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, CZ-37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-12-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10183-012-0019-y


The ability to grow clonally is generally considered important for plants in Arctic regions but analyses of clonal characteristics are lacking for entire plant communities. To fill this gap, we assessed the clonal growth of 78 plant species in the Petuniabukta region, central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), and analyzed the clonal and other life-history traits in the re- gional flora and plant communities with respect to environmental gradients. We distin- guished five categories of clonal growth organs: perennial main roots produced by non- clonal plants, epigeogenous rhizomes, hypogeogenous rhizomes, bulbils, and stolons. Clonal growth differed among communities of the Petuniabukta region: non-clonal plants prevailed in open, early-successional communities, but clonal plants prevailed in wetlands. While the occurrence of plants with epigeogenous rhizomes was unrelated to stoniness or slope, the occurrence of plants with hypogeogenous rhizomes diminished with increasing stoniness of the substratum. Although the overall proportion of clonal plants in the flora of the Petuniabukta region was comparable to that of central Europe, the flora of the Petunia- bukta region had fewer types of clonal growth organs, a slower rate of lateral spread, and a different proportion of the two types of rhizomes.

Keywords : Arctic; Svalbard; vascular plants; clonal growth; substrate

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-12-28

Published in Print: 2012-12-01

Citation Information: Polish Polar Research, Volume 33, Issue 4, Pages 421–442, ISSN (Online) 2081-8262, ISSN (Print) 0138-0338, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10183-012-0019-y.

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