Photosynthetic consequences of phenotypic plasticity in response to submergence: Rumex palustris as a case study

L. Mommer, T.L. Pons, E.J.W. Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Survival and growth of terrestrial plants is negatively affected by complete submergence. This is mainly the result of hampered gas exchange between plants and their environment, since gas diffusion is severely reduced in water compared with air, resulting in O2 deficits which limit aerobic respiration. The continuation of photosynthesis could probably alleviate submergence-stress in terrestrial plants, but its potential under water will be limited as the availability of CO2 is hampered. Several submerged terrestrial plant species, however, express plastic responses of the shoot which may reduce gas diffusion resistance and enhance benefits from underwater photosynthesis. In particular, the plasticity of the flooding-tolerant terrestrial species Rumex palustris turned out to be remarkable, making it a model species suitable for the study of these responses. During submergence, the morphology and anatomy of newly developed leaves changed: ‘aquatic’ leaves were thinner and had thinner cuticles. As a consequence, internal O2 concentrations and underwater CO2 assimilation rates were higher at the prevailing low CO2 concentrations in water. Compared with heterophyllous amphibious plant species, underwater photosynthesis rates of terrestrial plants may be very limited, but the effects of underwater photosynthesis on underwater survival are impressive. A combination of recently published data allowed quantification of the magnitude of the acclimation response in this species. Gas diffusion resistance in terrestrial leaves underwater was about 15¿000 times higher than in air. Strikingly, acclimation to submergence reduced this factor to 400, indicating that acclimated leaves of R. palustris had an approximately 40 times lower gas diffusion resistance than non-acclimated ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-290
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Rumex palustris
Rumex
submergence
phenotypic plasticity
Photosynthesis
case studies
Gases
gases
photosynthesis
Acclimatization
carbon dioxide
Water
leaves
acclimation
Air
air
water
aerobiosis
Plastics
gas exchange

Keywords

  • radial oxygen loss
  • aquatic plant-communities
  • deep-water rice
  • terrestrial plant
  • amphibious plants
  • underwater photosynthesis
  • river floodplains
  • light acclimation
  • inorganic carbon
  • gas-exchange

Cite this

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abstract = "Survival and growth of terrestrial plants is negatively affected by complete submergence. This is mainly the result of hampered gas exchange between plants and their environment, since gas diffusion is severely reduced in water compared with air, resulting in O2 deficits which limit aerobic respiration. The continuation of photosynthesis could probably alleviate submergence-stress in terrestrial plants, but its potential under water will be limited as the availability of CO2 is hampered. Several submerged terrestrial plant species, however, express plastic responses of the shoot which may reduce gas diffusion resistance and enhance benefits from underwater photosynthesis. In particular, the plasticity of the flooding-tolerant terrestrial species Rumex palustris turned out to be remarkable, making it a model species suitable for the study of these responses. During submergence, the morphology and anatomy of newly developed leaves changed: ‘aquatic’ leaves were thinner and had thinner cuticles. As a consequence, internal O2 concentrations and underwater CO2 assimilation rates were higher at the prevailing low CO2 concentrations in water. Compared with heterophyllous amphibious plant species, underwater photosynthesis rates of terrestrial plants may be very limited, but the effects of underwater photosynthesis on underwater survival are impressive. A combination of recently published data allowed quantification of the magnitude of the acclimation response in this species. Gas diffusion resistance in terrestrial leaves underwater was about 15¿000 times higher than in air. Strikingly, acclimation to submergence reduced this factor to 400, indicating that acclimated leaves of R. palustris had an approximately 40 times lower gas diffusion resistance than non-acclimated ones.",
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author = "L. Mommer and T.L. Pons and E.J.W. Visser",
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Photosynthetic consequences of phenotypic plasticity in response to submergence: Rumex palustris as a case study. / Mommer, L.; Pons, T.L.; Visser, E.J.W.

In: Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 57, No. 2, 2006, p. 283-290.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Photosynthetic consequences of phenotypic plasticity in response to submergence: Rumex palustris as a case study

AU - Mommer, L.

AU - Pons, T.L.

AU - Visser, E.J.W.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Survival and growth of terrestrial plants is negatively affected by complete submergence. This is mainly the result of hampered gas exchange between plants and their environment, since gas diffusion is severely reduced in water compared with air, resulting in O2 deficits which limit aerobic respiration. The continuation of photosynthesis could probably alleviate submergence-stress in terrestrial plants, but its potential under water will be limited as the availability of CO2 is hampered. Several submerged terrestrial plant species, however, express plastic responses of the shoot which may reduce gas diffusion resistance and enhance benefits from underwater photosynthesis. In particular, the plasticity of the flooding-tolerant terrestrial species Rumex palustris turned out to be remarkable, making it a model species suitable for the study of these responses. During submergence, the morphology and anatomy of newly developed leaves changed: ‘aquatic’ leaves were thinner and had thinner cuticles. As a consequence, internal O2 concentrations and underwater CO2 assimilation rates were higher at the prevailing low CO2 concentrations in water. Compared with heterophyllous amphibious plant species, underwater photosynthesis rates of terrestrial plants may be very limited, but the effects of underwater photosynthesis on underwater survival are impressive. A combination of recently published data allowed quantification of the magnitude of the acclimation response in this species. Gas diffusion resistance in terrestrial leaves underwater was about 15¿000 times higher than in air. Strikingly, acclimation to submergence reduced this factor to 400, indicating that acclimated leaves of R. palustris had an approximately 40 times lower gas diffusion resistance than non-acclimated ones.

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KW - radial oxygen loss

KW - aquatic plant-communities

KW - deep-water rice

KW - terrestrial plant

KW - amphibious plants

KW - underwater photosynthesis

KW - river floodplains

KW - light acclimation

KW - inorganic carbon

KW - gas-exchange

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DO - 10.1093/jxb/erj015

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JF - Journal of Experimental Botany

SN - 0022-0957

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ER -