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Relationships between allometric patterns of the submerged macrophyte Vallisneria natans, its stoichiometric characteristics, and the water exchange rate

Citation

Jin, Ling; Wu, Qihang; Gu, Yang; Pan, Ying (2021), Relationships between allometric patterns of the submerged macrophyte Vallisneria natans, its stoichiometric characteristics, and the water exchange rate, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.08kprr51q

Abstract

Variation in the water exchange rate (WER) of freshwater lakes has recently been demonstrated to affect the phenotypic traits of submerged macrophytes. However, whether these responses are size-dependent (“apparent plasticity”) or not (“real plasticity”) remains unclear. Here, we used allometric analysis to investigate phenotypic plasticity, and the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry of the submerged macrophyte Vallisneria natans cultured for 15, 30, 45, and 65 days under three levels of WER (0, 20, and 40% exchange of total volume day-1). Result showed that biomass accumulation, below-: above-ground biomass ratio, root length, root diameter, leaf length, and leaf width significantly decreased with increasing WER; however, specific root length was unaffected, and specific leaf area (SLA) gradually increased with increasing WER through the whole experiment. Allometric analyses showed that shifts in leaf width and SLA were determined solely by changes in plant size; all other morphological adjustments were largely size-dependent. Stoichiometric calculations indicated that ramets were mainly N-limited, and this limitation was significantly associated with leaf growth, thereby restricting the potential for real plasticity in leaf morphologies. Thus, V. natans adapts to WER variation largely through apparent plastic responses that reduce the demand for plant nutrients. 

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31670440

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31300361

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31660169

Key Project of Basic Research Program of Yunnan Province, China, Award: 202001BB050021

The Undergraduate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program of China, Award: 202010673169