PS 41-77
The influence of inflorescence size and number on the following year’s inflorescence production in Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Exhibit Hall B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Brian Moyer, Biology, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA
Julia Eckenrode, Biology, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA
Maureen A. Levri, Biology, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA
Edward P. Levri, Biology, Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA

Trade-offs are predicted between traits that may compete for resources within an individual.  Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) produces variable numbers of inflorescences and variable numbers of flowers per inflorescence.  The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the size and number of inflorescences produced in one year to the size or number produced the following year.  One hundred twenty-five plants were utilized in the Seminar Forest on the Penn State Altoona campus.  The number of inflorescences and the average number of flowers per inflorescence were determined for each plant.  This was then compared to the data recorded for the same plants the previous year. 


A preliminary analysis of the data suggests that high floral output by a plant the previous year results in a decreased floral production the following year, and smaller floral output the previous year yields a greater floral production the following year.