Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Producción diferencial de las raíces adventicias sobre el suelo por Senecio cooperi (Asteraceae)


Nathan J Ebnet



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Publication Date

December 2007


Previous studies have suggested that aboveground adventitious roots (AARs) are produced by plants in order to extract nutrients from the epiphytes they support (Nadkarni 1981 & 1984). I asked whether Senecio cooperi, a neotropical plant which produces AARs, generates these roots for nutrient absorption, fragmentation establishment, or structural support. I conducted a survey in which I measured multiple characteristics of S. cooperi and their AARs in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Naturally fragmented stems produced more AARs than expected by chance (x2 = 12.80, df = 1, p < 0.05). No purely vertical stems contained AARs associated with the moss mats growing on them. However, vertical stems displayed basal AARs which increased in diameter as both plant height and DBH increased (R2 = 0.330, P < 0.001, N = 50, R2 = 0.402, P < 0.0001, N = 50 respectively). These findings suggest that the naturally occurring role of AARs of S. cooperi are not for nutrient absorption, but rather for structural support and fragmentation regeneration. These functions of AARs allow S. cooperi to be more successful as a pioneer species in disturbed habitats, and highlight the need to reevaluate the functionality of AARs among other plants. Estudios previos han sugerido que las raíces adventicias en la superficie (AARs) son producidos por las plantas para extraer alimentos nutritivos de las epifitas que ellas sostienen (Nadkarni 1981 & 1984). Pregunte si Senecio cooperi, una planta neotropical que produce AARs, engendra estas raíces para la absorción del alimento nutritivo, para el establecimiento de la fragmentación o para el apoyo estructural. Realice una encuesta en la que medí las múltiples características de S. cooperi y de su AARs en Monteverde, Costa Rica.


Roots (Botany)--Development, Raices (Botanica)--Desarrollo, Santa Elena Reserve (Costa Rica), Reserva de Santa Elena (Costa Rica), Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Fall 2007, CIEE Otoño 2007


Student Affiliation : Department of Biology, Gustavus Adolphus College Born Digital

Subject: topical

Roots (Botany)--Development; Raices (Botanica)--Desarrollo; CIEE Fall 2007; CIEE Otoño 2007

Subject: geographic

Santa Elena Reserve (Costa Rica); Reserva de Santa Elena (Costa Rica); Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Differential aboveground adventitious root production by Senecio cooperi (Asteraceae)



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