The ecology and evolutionary potential of coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is significantly influenced by the important role clonal spread plays in its reproduction and site persistence. In nine second-growth stands, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) were used to identify redwood clonal architecture. Clones (multistem genets) dominated sites by representing an average of 70% of stems measured, ranging in size from two to 20 stems. As a result, a relatively small number of genets can monopolize a disproportionate amount of site resources, are more likely to persist over time, and have greater on-site genetic representation. Clones were not limited to fairy-ring structures, but consisted of a wide range of shapes including concentric rings, ring chains, disjunct, and linear structures. Between-ramet distances of up to 40 m were measured, indicating that clonal reproduction is not limited to basal stump resprouting. Clonal structure in second-growth stands was similar to earlier reports from old growth, emphasizing the importance of site persistence and long-term, gradual site development. Smaller ramet numbers per genet in old growth is probably due to local within-genet self thinning. Management and conservation of redwoods will benefit from a better understanding of the dynamics and structure of clonal spread in these forests.
Douhovnikoff, Vladimir; Cheng, Adelaide M.; and Dodd, Richard S., "Incidence, size and spatial structure of clones in second-growth stands of coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens (Cupressaceae)" (2004). Biology Faculty Publications. 51.