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Abstract

Lindera melissifolia pondberry, is a federally endangered dioecious shrub found in Arkansas and four other southeastern states. Although by far the greatest area exists in Arkansas, it is broken into numerous small single-sex clones concentrated in two locations. Several stands have been lost during the 1980's according to records of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Even casual observation reveals that there are more males than females. This suggests dependence on vegetative reproduction, with possible bias against females. This paper reports on work investigating this suggestion. It was found that a 7:1 bias in area covered favors males. Poor survival of seedlings and transplants indicates that only apomictic reproduction is successful. Females allocate 45 times more resources to reproduction than males. Stem dieback occurs in both sexes but regrowth is vigorous. Shoot moisture stress and response of net photosynthesis and conductance favor growth of males.

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