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Leaf Life Span of Floating-Leaved Plants

T. Tsuchiya
Vegetatio
Vol. 97, No. 2, Symposium on Ecology of Submersed and Floating-Leaved Aquatic Vegetation, Yokohama, Japan, August 23-30, 1990 (Dec., 1991), pp. 149-160
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20046094
Page Count: 12
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Leaf Life Span of Floating-Leaved Plants
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Abstract

Photosynthetic capacity of floating-leaved plants is relatively high comparable with terrestrial herbaceous plants, though floating-leaved plants have a much smaller biomass with a leaf area index seldom exceeding 2 $\text{m}^{2}\text{m}^{-2}$. Their rather small biomass accumulation is related to higher turnover of leaf biomass or shorter leaf life span. Life span of floating leaves reported in the literature ranged mostly from 13 to 35 days, shorter than that of any other groups of herbaceous macrophytes. Floating-leaved plants are known to show considerably high plasticity in their leaf form. Leaf life span could be prolonged for Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) O. Kuntze grown in a terrestrial environment and for emergent leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Their short leaf life span seems to be closely related to the fact that old leaves covered by newly formed ones are inevitably compelled to be submerged and lose their function as a photosynthetic apparatus.

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