A large fraction of plant species in temperate, boreal and alpine floras can propagate clonally allowing genets (genetic individuals) to tolerate periods of reproductive failure, and often to obtain great size and age. However, genets are vulnerable to herbivores, pathogens and other localised disturbance. We monitored the status of 140 putative Solidago missouriensis clones in central Minnesota before, during and after intense defoliation by insects. Five of the putative clones, though apparently killed, reappeared 1 to >13 years they disappeared, largely or completely recovering their original territories within a single season. We tested the hypothesis that territories were recovered by seedling establishment using 38 RAPD markers obtained from 162 ramets collected from the recovered territories. We detected a single genotype in each of three territories, two genotypes in one territory, and eleven genotypes in the fifth territory. The probability of detecting the identical genotypes by chance is small (< 1 X 10-14). Since the reoccupied territories are large relative to the area that could be colonized by a single ramet in a single season, we conclude that pre-and post-recovery clones are the same.

Key words: Clone, dormancy, RAPD markers, Solidago missouriensis