OOS 47-8 - No senescence in a centenarian relict plant

Thursday, August 9, 2012: 4:00 PM
A105, Oregon Convention Center
Maria B. Garcia, Pyrenean Institute of Ecology - CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain, Johan Dahlgren, Max Planck Odense Center, Southern Denmark University, Odense, Denmark and Johan Ehrlén, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

The empirical evidence for senescence is equivocal, and particularly scarce among long-lived organisms. We collected demographic field data of the dioecious Borderea pyrenaica, a non-clonal relic herb with morphological features that enable precise age determination (300 years old). Senescence was judged on the basis of age-related changes in vital rates and reproductive values.


Our study suggest that the negative effects of age can be very weak or absent in some organisms, enabling not only a very long life span but also a high performance at ages of several centuries. The lack of senescence may be related to the fact that B. pyrenaica individuals alternate meristems during their life span.