Jump to Main Content
Physiological mechanisms for plant distribution pattern: responses to flooding and drought in three wetland plants from Dongting Lake, China
- Li, Feng, Qin, Xianyan, Xie, Yonghong, Chen, Xinsheng, Hu, Jiayu, Liu, Yinyin, Hou, Zhiyong
- Limnology 2013 v.14 no.1 pp. 71-76
- Carex, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, Polygonum hydropiper, drought, drought tolerance, flooding tolerance, lakes, malondialdehyde, physiological response, proline, wetland plants, China
- Both flooding and drought are important in determining plant distribution in wetlands. However, the roles of plant’s physiological response to flooding and drought in accounting for plant distribution are far from clear. To this end, three typical wetland plants with different distribution patterns (high-elevation species Miscanthus sacchariflorus, low-elevation species Carex brevicuspis and Polygonum hydropiper) in Dongting Lake were treated with three water levels (flooding 25 cm, control 0 cm, drought −25 cm), and relative growth rate (RGR), malondialdehyde (MDA) content, electrolyte leakage and proline content were investigated. The RGR of the three species decreased significantly in both flooding and drought treatments. Compared to the control, the RGR of M. sacchariflorus decreased more in the flooding treatment but less in the drought treatment compared to the other two species. The contents of MDA in the three species increased in both flooding and drought treatments, except for P. hydropiper in the flooding treatment. MDA contents increased more in M. sacchariflorus in the flooding treatment but less in the drought treatment compared to the other two species. Only M. sacchariflorus had a higher electrolyte leakage in the flooding treatment, and drought led to a higher electrolyte leakage in P. hydropiper and C. brevicuspis. Proline content increased 69.2, 66.7 and 39.6 % in P. hydropiper, C. brevicuspis and M. sacchariflorus in the flooding treatment, and increased 44.2, 13.0 and 45.3 % in the drought treatment, respectively. These results suggest that M. sacchariflorus has a higher tolerance to drought but a lower tolerance to flooding than do the other two species, which might be the intrinsic mechanisms accounting for their different distribution patterns.