Patterns of resource allocation in the dioecious alpine herb Aciphylla simplicifolia (Apieaceae).
Patterns of reproductive and vegetative biomass allocation were compared in male and female plants of the alpine herb Aciphylla simplicifolia. Male and female plants had similar vegetative biomass but differed in the pattern of resource allocation. Inflorescences of males and females were similar in weight at the time of flowering, but differed in biomass allocation to some structures within the inflorescences, particularly those associated with ovule production and pollinator attraction (number and size of flowers). At the time of fruit production, female inflorescences were 2.6 times heavier than at flowering with developing fruit six times heavier than flowers. In addition to the increase in biomass allocated to structures associated with the provisioning and dissemination of seed, support structures (main and side stalks) were also heavier. As a result of this additional investment of resources at the time of fruit production, the reproductive effort (RE) of female plants was much higher than that of males: 37% of above ground biomass compared with 21% for males. Differences in RE did not change with plant size; however, allocation to reproduction appeared to be a constant proportion of biomass over nearly all plant sizes sampled. These results show that sex-specific resource allocation can be a complex of temporal and morphological patterns.