The influence of shoot harvesting on the age structure of Convallaria majalis L. populations

Igor Kosiński


This paper presents the structure of developmental stages and the age structure of Convallaria majalis L. populations. The investigation material consisted of individuals and modules from populations in Betulo-Quercetum, Fago-Quercetum, Melico-Fagetum and Tilio-Carpinetum, in which the leaves and inflorescence of C. majalis were cut annually over a period of three years.

Fifty percent of the C. majalis regional population consisted of mature modules, 20% of juvenile modules, 25% of senile modules and a very small percentage of generative modules. In populations of Fago-Quercetum there are four times more senile modules than juvenile modules, while in Melico-Fagetum the percentage of juvenile modules is four times more numerous than the percentage of senile modules. The average age of modules is 4.7±3.8 years. Three year old individuals dominate in the population, while 10 year or older individuals are very rare.

In the population disturbed by the three raw material collections, the percentage of juvenile modules was decreased by 50% and the percentage of generative modules was nonexistent. As a result, the average module age is higher than in the undisturbed population. Cutting leaves and inflorescence is an important factor in limiting the recruitment of juvenile modules. The growth of individuals in the disturbed population occurs among older modules, which were able to reproduce before the disturbance occurred. Young individuals (three to four years old) are less numerous in the disturbed population, and the majority of individuals are three to six years old.


Convallaria majalis L.; medicinal plant; age structure; shoot cutting

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