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Growth responses and non-structural carbohydrates in three wetland macrophyte species following submergence and de-submergence

Qin, Xianyan, Li, Feng, Chen, Xinsheng, Xie, Yonghong
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2013 v.35 no.7 pp. 2069-2074
Carex, Phalaris arundinacea, Polygonum hydropiper, starch, submergence, sugars, survival rate
We investigated the responses of growth and non-structural carbohydrates to submergence and de-submergence in three wetland macrophyte species. Survival rate, recovery ability, and soluble sugar and starch contents of flood-tolerant Polygonum hydropiper and of flood-sensitive Phalaris arundinacea and Carex argyi from Dongting Lake wetlands were investigated after 20, 40, and 60 days of complete submergence without light and 10 days after de-submergence. Plant dry weight and soluble sugar and starch contents decreased in all species during the submergence period. The decreases were slowest in P. hydropiper, intermediate in C. argyi, and most rapid in P. arundinacea. After 60 days of submergence, survival rates were 100, 50, and 0 % in P. hydropiper, C. argyi, and P. arundinacea, respectively. After recovery, plant dry weight increased in P. hydropiper and in C. argyi, but decreased in P. arundinacea. Compared to pre-submergence, soluble sugar contents generally increased and then remained relatively constant after recovery in all species, while starch content increased in P. hydropiper and decreased in P. arundinacea with increasing submergence time. For C. argyi, starch content decreased after recovery from the 20-day submergence, but increased after recovery from the 40- and 60-day submergences. These data illustrate mechanisms behind the flood tolerance of P. hydropiper and the sensitivity to flooding in P. arundinacea and C. argyi. These mechanisms include lower consumption and quicker accumulation of non-structural carbohydrates in flood-tolerant plants.