Growth and turion formation of Potamogeton crispus in response to different phosphorus concentrations in water
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The vegetative growth and turion formation of Potamogeton crispus, a submersed aquatic macrophyte, was investigated under a range of phosphorus (P) concentrations (0.025, 0.25, 2.5 and 25 mg P L−1) in the ambient water free of algae, aiming to identify the responses of submersed aquatic macrophytes to nutrient enrichment, a common eutrophication problem in China and worldwide. Plant growth was not affected by different P concentrations in terms of biomass accumulation of stems and leaves. However, the contents of chlorophyll a and starch in plants decreased with increasing water P levels, whereas chlorophyll b and carotenoids declined with P level ranging from 0.025 to 2.5 mg P L−1. The soluble sugar content decreased when water P concentration increased up to 2.5 mg L−1. The P content in plants increased with increasing water P levels, whereas plant N content decreased and soluble protein increased when water P concentration increased over 0.25 mg L−1, implying that P. crispus may have modified its metabolism to adapt to water P availability. When P concentration increased to 25 mg L−1, the number and dry matter production of turions per plant decreased significantly. Meanwhile, there was a significant reduction in turion weight and the accumulations of soluble sugar and starch in turion, when water P concentration was over 0.25 mg L−1. The results suggest that turion formation in P. crispus is sensitive to P concentration in the ambient water, and high P levels may lead to decreases in P. crispus populations due to the decline in turion production.
Ecology not elsewhere classified