Changes in chemical composition of hydrophyte leaves during adaptation to aquatic environment

D.A. Ronzhina, L.A. Ivanov, V.I. P'Yankov, Hans Lambers

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    Leaf chemical composition of 19 hydrophytes was studied. The content of carbon, nitrogen, nonstructural carbohydrates, organic acids, minerals, and water was determined. Hydrophytes were shown to contain less carbon (below 410 mg/g dry wt in 60% species) than terrestrial plants. Hydrophytes and terrestrial plants did not differ in the nitrogen concentration in the leaves (33 and 29 mg/g dry wt, respectively). Hydrophytes were characterized by a low content of organic acids (40–90 mg/g dry wt in 60% species) and high content of mineral compounds (90–170 mg/g dry wt in 50% species). Total amount of nonstructural carbohydrates was similar in the leaves of hydrophytes and terrestrial plants (from 120 to 190 mg/g dry wt), but the proportions of various carbohydrate fractions differed substantially. In the hydrophyte leaves, the content of soluble carbohydrates was 2.4-fold lower, whereas the content of nonstructural polysaccharides 1.2-fold higher than in terrestrial plant leaves. Two groups of correlations between parameters of leaf chemical composition were distinguished: the contents of carbon, nitrogen, and soluble sugars were positively correlated, and the negative correlation was observed between these parameters and the amounts of mineral compounds, organic acids, water, and nonstructural polysaccharides. We concluded that hydrophyte leaf chemical composition reflects a specificity of plant adaptation to aquatic environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-362
    JournalRussian Journal of Plant Physiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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