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Growth and Resource Allocation Responses of Spartina alterniflora Loisel. to Three Levels of NH4-N, Fe, and NaCl in Solution Culture

B. L. Haines and E. L. Dunn
Botanical Gazette
Vol. 137, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 224-230
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2473854
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Growth and Resource Allocation Responses of Spartina alterniflora Loisel. to Three Levels of NH4-N, Fe, and NaCl in Solution Culture
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Abstract

Along tidal creek banks of East Coast salt marshes, stands of Spartina alterniflora Loisel., cordgrass, are taller, greener, and have greater standing crops than stands at higher elevations in the marsh. Gradients of salinity, iron, and ammonia have been suggested as underlying causes Seedlings were grown for 11 wk in a solution culture factorial experiment at three levels each of NH4-N (0.14, 1.4, and 14 mg N/liter), Fe (0.1, 1.0, and 10 mg/liter), and NaCl (5, 20, and 40 g/liter). Plant height, total dry weight, rhizome length, rhizome weight, and root weight were significantly affected by NH4-N and by NaCl but not by Fe concentrations. In general, increasing NH4-N promoted growth except at the highest salinity. Shoot-to-root ratios indicated decreased resource allocation to root production with increase of both NH4-N and NaCl. Shoot-to-rhizome weight ratios showed allocation to rhizomes was little affected by salinity but was favored by increased amounts of NH4-N and Fe. For the three factors studied, results suggested that future field studies of S alterniflora should focus on relations of process rates to variations in concentrations of nitrogen and of salt rather than of iron.

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