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The Plant as a Metapopulation

"If a bud be torn from the branch of a tree and cut out and planted in the earth with a glass cup inverted over it to prevent the exhalation from being at first greater than its power of absorption; or if it be inserted into the bark of another tree, it will grow, and become a plant in every respect like its parent. This evinces that every bud of a tree is an individual vegetable being; and that a tree therefore is a family or swarm of individual plants, like the polypus, with its growing young out of its sides, or like the branching cells of the coral-insect. . . . the shoot is a succession of individual vegetable members". These observations by Erasmus Darwin occur on the first page of his Phyl%ga, i by then current among botanists that a single plant (derived from one seed) was not a simple unit but a collection of subunitary parts. Through various refinements this concept became widespread during the nineteenth century and persisted among some plant anatomists and morphologists until mod­ em times. Recently a few plant ecologists have espoused the same concept (the plant as a collection of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Annual Reviews
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