Polycarpic Perennials

This is the most diverse group of flowering plants, including herbs, shrubs, and trees (Figure 3). Polycarpic plants flower and fruit many times during their lives regardless

Figure 3 Two polycarpic perennials, black pine (Pinus nigra) and holm oak (Quercus ilex). Life spans of polycarpic perennials are variable, but they flower many times during their lives. Photograph courtesy of Jose Luis Ordonez.

of the duration of their life spans. The population dynamics exhibited by polycarpic perennials differ among species, but in general, the more long-lived a plant is, the less variable through time its population dynamics are. Another general trend of polycarpic perennials is that the relative importance of reproduction decreases as life span increases, whereas the relative importance of adult survival increases as plants live longer.

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