The Maternal Light Environment Of Campanulastrum Americanum Essay

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In a 2005 and 2007 study by L. Galloway, the maternal light environment of Campanulastrum americanum was shown to influence the offspring’s germination season by altering the maternal flowering time. C. americanum, also known as the American bellflower, is a native understory fern. Individuals can grow in either the forest understory or in light gaps, therefore, individuals will experience no direct sunlight, or full sunlight for some length of time, daily. Individuals within the C. americanum species are capable of having one of two life-history strategies. The relationship between maternal light environment and flowering time can influence the offspring’s life-history strategy by dictating whether the individuals grow as annuals or biennials. A majority of seeds in light gaps became annuals, germinating in the fall and flowering immediately the next summer, while a majority of the understory seeds grew as biennial individuals, germinating in the spring and growing for a season before flowering their second year. As the study results support, these flowering phenologies are two different life-history strategies that have been influenced by maternal effects. The study results have shown that twice as many seeds germinated in light gaps if their mother had grown within the gap, and that twice as many seeds germinated in the understory if their mother had also grown there. The population growth for individuals grown outside of their mother’s environment was determined to be

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