Slow Groth - Old Age

KlonaleswachstumBundles grow from the individual shoots, whose original roots finally fall apart so that constantly new clumps form spreading on a dense front. This is how we obtain groups (clones) of genetically identical individuals, covering large areas. According to DNA analysis, such clones can become more than 1000 years old and as such are functionally immortal. Clonal growth takes place so slowly that in order to cover one metre of ground some hundred years have to pass. This would therefore not explain the return of vegetation in the alpine regions after the last Ice Age (15000 years ago). In the case of Curved Sedge (Carex curvula) it has been observed that again and again - in intervals of many years and only in climatically favourable summers (mast years) - an abundance of flowers and seeds formed. This explains a faster spread over larger distances. This method can also be used by fir trees above the tree line to create new small woods that are genetically identical through vegetative proliferation. According to research conducted in the Swiss Alps, of 228 plants only 30 use sexual means of reproduction and/or proliferation, and all others employ vegetative cloning.


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