Additional info: The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Plant Ecology and Systematics (Closed 2011) (011004000), Biodiversity (432112235)
Physiological integration between ramets is beneficial when acquiring heterogeneously distributed resources, and is hypothesized to occur when the benefits of resource sharing outweigh the costs. Our aim was to investigate if resource availability affected physiological integration in Carex arenaria and Carex disticha. Ramet systems were grown in high potassium and high water (K+ W+), high K and low water (K+ W-), or low K and high water (K- W+) for 1 month. Thereafter, water and K transport were traced with erythrosin and rubidium, respectively. Carex arenaria and C. disticha transported erythrosin over seven ramet generations and rubidium throughout the whole ramet system, but C. arenaria exported 20% more rubidium from the labelled shoot than C. disticha. A detailed analysis of subset of plants suggested that C. disticha in low K abundance shared more rubidium than in high K abundance, and that C. arenaria ramets in both K+ W- and K- W+ shared more resources than K+ W+ ramets. We demonstrated long-distance resource transport for K and water in C. arenaria and C. disticha. The distance of integration was not affected by resource availability in C. arenaria or C. disticha, but local concentrations of K showed marked and contrasting responses to nutrient and water treatment in both species.