BeKind said:How do plants ascertain their starch reserves?
Plants make sugar in their leaves. That is called photosynthate. How much of the photosynthate is divided among different possible uses is called photosynthate partitioning or carbon partitioning. Some plants may store some of the photosynthate as starch but other plants store photosynthate as other carbohydrates, proteins or oils. The general term for determining how all the possible materials (carbohydrates, proteins, oils, etc.) are divided among different possible uses is called assimilate partitioning.
How photosynthate is divided between growth and storage reserves is very complex. What is known about the process is described in chapter 4, Photosynthate Partitioning by N. G. Halford, pages 67-82, in the book Plant Developmental Biology – Biotechnological Perspectives: Volume 2 edited by E‐C. Pua and M.R. Davey and published in 2010 by Springer-Verlag.