Monocarpic plants, which flower once then die, are ideal systems for testing evolutionary ideas because the cost of reproduction is easily quantified and the timing of flowering is a key determinant of darwinian fitness. Monocarps should flower at the size that maximizes fitness, enabling models of life-history evolution to be tested. These models are becoming increasingly sophisticated and accurate, making a review of the techniques and underlying theory timely. Here, we review the long-term demography of monocarpic species, focusing on how demographic rates vary with size and age. We then examine the broad array of evolutionary models, and question what aspects of the demography are crucial for the successful prediction of the size and age at flowering, shedding light on both the important aspects of monocarp demography and current advances in life-history modelling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics