A clonal colony or genet is a group of genetically identical individuals, such as plants, fungi, or bacteria, that have grown in a given location, all originating vegetatively, not sexually, from a single ancestor. In plants, an individual in such a population is referred to as a ramet. In fungi, "individuals" typically refers to the visible fruiting bodies or mushrooms that develop from a common mycelium which, although spread over a large area, is otherwise hidden in the soil. Clonal colonies are common in many plant species. Although many plants reproduce sexually through the production of seed, reproduction occurs by underground stolons or rhizomes in some plants. Above ground, these plants most often appear to be distinct individuals, but underground they remain interconnected and are all clones of the same plant. However, it is not always easy to recognize a clonal colony especially if it spreads underground and is also sexually reproducing.
Methods of establishment
With most woody plants, clonal colonies arise by wide-ranging roots that at intervals send up new shoots, termed suckers. Trees and shrubs with branches that may tend to bend and rest on the ground, or which possess the ability to form aerial roots can form colonies via layering, or aerial rooting, e. g. willow, blackberry, fig, and banyan. Some vines naturally form adventitious roots on their stems that take root in the soil when the stems contact the gro... ...read more