Stay dormant or escape sprouting? Turion buoyancy and sprouting abilities of the submerged macrophyte Potamogeton crispus L.
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The ability of asexual propagules to disperse is an important ecological determinant of the spread and establishment of many aquatic species. However, few previous studies have addressed the relationship between the asexual propagule buoyancy and sprouting abilities in submerged macrophytes. For this reason, turions of Potamogeton crispus samples were collected from Lake Liangzi, and an incubator sprouting experiment was conducted. Our results revealed that the floating turions showed higher sprouting rates than that of sinking turions, indicating the former ones are possibly with high levels of primary metabolites. The higher N and P concentrations in the floating turions caused lower C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios in these turions compared with sinking turions, which confirmed the activation of floating turions. The free amino acid and soluble carbohydrate concentrations were also higher in floating turions than those in sinking turions. Our results also revealed that turion leaf porosity rather than starch concentration may determine the density of P. crispus turions. This study makes a contribution to our understanding of how the internal characteristics of turions can (at least partly) determine dispersal outcomes and offers new insights into the dispersal and sprouting of asexual propagules of submerged macrophytes.
KeywordsDensity Floating Porosity Potamogeton crispus L. Sinking Turion
We thank Dr. Ling-fei Yu, Hui Wang, Shu-feng Fan, and Jin-ning Zhu for laboratory/field assistance and helpful discussions. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370382 and 30930011).
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