Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1075-1083.doi: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.09.008

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Clonal integration enhances performance of Cynodon dactylon subjected to submergence

ZHANG Xiang-Ying1,2; FAN Da-Yong1; XIE Zong-Qiang1*; XIONG Gao-Ming1; and LI Zhao-Jia1,2   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;

    2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2010-05-24 Online:2010-10-08 Published:2010-09-01
  • Contact: XIE Zong-Qiang E-mail:xie@ibcas.ac.cn

Abstract: Aims Despite extensive studies on effects of clonal integration in the past three decades, little is known about the effects of clonal integration on the performance of waterlogged clonal plants. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that clonal integration could improve performance of Cynodon dactylon, a stoloniferous clonal herb commonly found in riparian areas of reservoirs, under waterlogging stress. Methods Relatively young apical ramets of C. dactylon clonal fragments were submerged in water at depths of 0 (control), 5 and 15 cm, and their connections to the relatively old basal ramets of the fragments under normal conditions were either severed (preventing clonal integration) or not (allowing integration). Performances of apical ramets, basal ramets and whole fragments were investigated after one month of treatment. Meanwhile, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (Fv/Fm, maximum quantum yield of PSII; Yield, effective quantum yield of PSII) were measured. Important findings Severing the stolon connection significantly decreased the growth of apical ramets under submergence in terms of biomass, total stolon length and number of ramets. Submergence also significantly decreased the growth of apical ramets, but had little effects on basal ramets. Performance of both basal ramets and clonal fragments was enhanced if the basal ramets were connected with the apical ramets subjected to 5 cm depth of submergence. However, stolon severing treatment had little effects on chlorophyll fluorescence parameters of both apical ramets and basal ramets. Results indicate that clonal integration increased performance of waterlogged ramets and the growth of non-waterlogged connected ramets. Clonal integration could help C. dactylon resist submergence stress.

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