Long term water integration in interconnected ramets of stoloniferous grass, buffalograss
AbstractBuffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) is known for its drought resistant character. Natural resources are patchily distributed and resource sharing between interconnected ramets can enhance the performance of the whole genet. In order to examine whether there exists long term water integration between interconnected ramets of buffalograss, a greenhouse experiment was conducted. Interconnected ramet pairs of stoloniferous buffalograss were planted in two partitioned similar-sized containers and subjected to homogeneous (20 ml pot-1 d-1 or 100 - 150 ml pot-1 d-1) or heterogeneous (20 ml pot-1 d-1 vs. 100-150 ml pot-1 d-1) water supply; the whole experiment lasted for 91 days. In heterogeneous treatment, water translocation was equally effective in acropetal and basipetal directions. Elder ramet was more efficient in water use, but rooted ramet of elder ramet in moist condition experienced significant cost when it was connected to younger ramet in dry condition; whereas, no cost was found in any fragment of younger donor ramet. Ramet in dry condition produced more biomass than its connected ramet in moist condition and developed larger leaves. This “oversharing” phenomenon indicated that no net cost was involved in water integration, and water might not be the only resources transported within stolon xylem. Overall, long term water integration is an important strategy for buffalograss to cope with adverse natural drought conditions.
Keywords: Water integration, interconnected ramets, heterogeneous treatment, Buchloë dactyloides, oversharing
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(34), pp. 5503-5510, 23 August, 2010