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Defence Is a Priority in Female Juveniles and Adults of Taxus baccata L.

Defence Is a Priority in Female Juveniles and Adults of Taxus baccata L. Thumbnail


Abstract

Female individuals of dioecious plants invest their resources more in storage and defence, and the males have higher nitrogen content invested in the production of pollen grains. An unresolved problem is whether this strategy occurs only in sexually mature plants or can also occur in juvenile plants. To answer this, Taxus baccata (L.) needles from the mature plants and rooted cuttings (juveniles) in a pot experiment were compared for the content of carbon, nitrogen, starch, total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC), and total phenolic compounds (TPhC). The results indicate that the differences between sexes occurred mainly in sexually mature plants, where the starch content was higher in females and nitrogen in males. However, the novelty of the results is that TPhC was generally higher in females than males in both adults and juveniles, suggesting that defence is a priority for females from an early age. We do not know if this is an innate trait because the strobili production (albeit at a very low level) of juveniles was observed in all individuals after the autumn of the first year. We found no effect of fertilization on sex-specific response in the pot experiment, which may be related to the lower reproductive effort of juveniles.

Citation

(2021). Defence Is a Priority in Female Juveniles and Adults of Taxus baccata L. Forests, 1 - 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070844

Acceptance Date Jun 21, 2021
Publication Date Jul 26, 2021
Journal Forests
Publisher MDPI
Pages 1 - 9
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070844
Publisher URL https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/12/7/844

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