Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart KG · New York
Relationships among Three Pathways for Resource Acquisition and their Contribution to Plant Performance in the Emergent Aquatic Plant Lythrum salicaria (L.)
Received: December 31, 2006
Accepted: February 16, 2007
31 May 2007 (eFirst)
Three pathways for resource acquisition exist in the emergent aquatic plant, Lythrum salicaria (L.); a subterranean root system, a free-floating adventitious root system, and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungal hyphae colonizing subterranean roots. This study examined the relationship(s) among these pathways and their contribution to plant performance. If the free-floating adventitious root system and/or AM fungi contribute to plant growth in wetland habitats, we predicted that their absence would result in a significant reduction in plant performance. Furthermore, if a reduction in resource uptake, effected by an absence of free-floating adventitious roots and/or AM fungi, is compensated for by increased allocation to remaining pathway(s) for resource uptake, we predicted altered patterns of resource allocation among shoots and the remaining pathway(s) for resource uptake. Contrary to our predications, plants experiencing adventitious root removal and/or grown in the absence of AM fungi generally had greater biomass and total shoot height than controls. Similarly, while levels of AM colonization and subterranean root biomass displayed a treatment effect, the observed responses did not correspond with our predictions. This was also true for shoot : subterranean root dry weight ratios. Our results indicate that there is interaction among the 3 pathways for resource acquisition in L. salicaria and an effect on plant performance. The adaptive significance of these characteristics is unclear, highlighting the potential difficulties in extrapolating from terrestrial to aquatic plant species and among aquatic plant species with potentially different life history strategies.
Arbuscular mycorrhiza - adventitious roots - Lythrum salicaria - aquatic plants - flooding.