African Journal of Biotechnology

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Phenotypic plasticity, clonal architecture and biomass partitioning in Myriophyllum spicatum L. across different lentic and lotic ecosystems of Kashmir

Shahzada Arshid, Aijaz A Wani


During the present study we measured plastic adjustments in morphological traits, clonal architecture and biomass partitioning for an aquatic clonal species (Myriophyllum spicatum) under two contrasting conditions in the field that is, standing vs. running waters. A significant difference in morphological traits, clonal architecture and biomass partitioning to different plant parts was observed between standing and running water populations. The species produces longer and narrower leaves in running water but smaller and broader ones in standing water populations. Spike and peduncle length, number of spikes and flowers per ramet were significantly higher in standing water populations. Moreover, a high seed set was observed in standing water populations while as running water populations did not produce any seeds. Total length of rhizome, branching of ramets, spacer length and average length of ramets per plant were highest in standing water populations. However, number of ramets per plant and number of branches per rhizome were highest in running water populations. The percentage dry mass allocation was highest to shoots followed by seeds and spikes and much less was allocated to under sediment parts in standing water populations, whereas, in running water populations allocation was highest to shoots followed by under sediment and spikes. The reduction in size, higher biomass allocations to belowground organs and a more compact growth form (reduced spacer lengths) in case of running water populations as compared to standing water populations contributed to reduce the damage risk in running water populations due to mechanical stress caused by the flow of running water.

Keywords: Plant architecture, resource allocation, standing water, running water, ramet, spacer length

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(19), pp. 2618-2623

AJOL African Journals Online