Jump to Main Content
Effects of Altitude on Carbohydrate Content of Mountain Plants
- Mooney, H. A., Billings, W. D.
- Ecology 1965 v.46 no.5 pp. 750-751
- Caltha, Polygonum, Saxifraga, altitude, carbohydrate content, mountains, rhizomes, roots, starch, sugars, Sierra Nevada (California), Wyoming
- Sugar and starch contents of roots or rhizomes of Polygonum bistortoides, Saxifraga rhomboidea, and Calyptridium umbellatum were measured at different altitudes in the Sierra Nevada of California and in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming. Carbohydrate reserves appear to be higher near the lower altitudinal limits of a species. Ploygonum bistortoides, Caltha howellii, and Sibbaldia procumbens transplanted to lower and warmer elevations used up stored carbohydrates more rapidly than at the elevation of origin. The higher carbohydrate content of individuals in natural populations near the lower altitudinal limits of an alpine species thus appears to be an ecotypic or ecoclinal adaptation.