Cryptotaenia canadensis is an herbaceous plant species of mesic to wet-mesic deciduous forests of eastern North America. The ecological life cycle and biomass allocation is being studied for plants of this species growing in a second-growth mixed mesophytic forest on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Kentucky. Cryptotaenia canadensis reproduces sexually, flowering and fruiting during early to mid-summer, with concurrent asexual reproduction via monocarpic ramets produced at the base of the stem. Plants produced from seeds have a biennial life cycle, thus requiring two growing seasons to reproduce (sexually and asexually). Ramets behave as annuals and reproduce (sexually and asexually) after one growing season. Throughout the active growth stages of the sexual and asexual phases of the life cycle, relative percent biomass allocated to above-ground parts increased until death of the (entire) parent plant following reproduction. Twenty-five to 28% of the total biomass was allocated to reproduction, 80% of which went to sexual reproduction (entire umbel). A graphical model of the ecological life cycle and the phenology of biomass allocation in C. canadensis will be presented, and biomass allocated to reproduction in this species will be compared to that of other life cycle types in the Apiaceae.

Key words: Apiaceae, biomass allocation, Cryptotaenia, life cycle