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    STUDIA BIOLOGIA - Issue no. 2 / 2005  
         
  Article:   STUDII ECOFIZIOLOGICE LA PLANTE ARBUSTIVE ENDEMICE SUB PRESIUNEA FACTORILOR DE HABITAT. I. STUDIUL PROCESULUI DE CREŞTERE.

Authors:  VICTOR BERCEA.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  Ecophysiological Studies of Endemic Shrubs Exposed to Habitat Factors’ Pressure. I. Study on Growth Process. In this paper we conducted an analysis of growth coefficients in endemic shrubs from alpine arias: Rhododendron myrtifolium L. and Vaccinium myrtillus L. (fam. Ericaceae) from Rodnei Mountains, Pietrosu Massif (2303m). These coefficients provide useful information for decoding the mechanism of plant resistance, harboring multiple ecological implications. Three stationary plots, at different altitudes (1660m, 1825m, and 1930m respectively) have been selected, which are also mirrored by the specific plant communities structure with which the shrubs are competing. The research has been carried out during June, July, and September vegetation periods. We have quantified the shrubs’ density (individuals/m2), height, the numbers of the leafs, the biomass distribution at different vegetative organs (roots, stem, and leafs), the phytomass (dried aerial substance), and the humidity. The growth process has been estimated on the basis of relative growth rate (RGR) and absolute growth rate in size (AGR). At foliage level, we have taken into consideration specific leaf area (SLA), leaf weight ratio (LWR), leaf area index (LAI), and leaf area ratio (LAR). We conclude that alpine shrubs respond to mountain climatic features by a range of morphological and physiological adjustments. At a large scale, the growth process is controlled by the distribution pattern of dried substance in different vegetative organs. The growth coefficients manifest specificity in evolution for every studied species, being also sensitive to altitudinal gradient.  
         
     
         
         
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