Influence of water depth on growth and reproduction of Ranunculus lingua

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Abstract:

The ability of Ranunculus lingua to grow at different water depths (from 0 to 80 cm) was tested. The plants from the tested depths did not differ significantly in their height and the number of shoots but differed in the number of leaves and generative organs. The lowest values were recorded at a depth of 30 cm and at a depth of 50 cm and deeper; the maximum was reached at a depth of 40 cm. The production of generative organs decreased significantly with increasing depth except for the peak at a depth of 40 cm. Significant changes in all the measured traits were recorded during the growing season. A wide plasticity of the species in depth tolerance was proved by experimental flooding. Differences in experimental and observed optimal water depth for R. lingua in Central Europe can be ascribed to the competition with littoral dominants. R. lingua usually occupies transition zones among dominants and its position in the hydrosere therefore varies with respect to the dominant competitor. Optimal water depth varied along a geographic gradient from Northern Europe (deeper water) to Central Europe (shallower water).

Keywords: AQUATIC PLANT; COMPETITION; EXPERIMENTAL FLOODING; HYDROSERE

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • The Belgian Journal of Botany (now known as Plant Ecology and Evolution) is an international journal open to all fields of plant sciences. Please note, however, that papers restricted to purely nomenclatural matters or to floristical data of only local interest will not be accepted. The Journal appears in one volume of two issues per year. It publishes reviews, original research papers, short notes, letters to the editor, and book reviews. Click here for current issues of this journal
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