, Volume 145, Issue 3, pp 253-258

First online:

A systematic relationship between phytochrome-controlled development and species habitat, for plants grown in simulated natural radiation

  • D. C. MorganAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, The University
  • , H. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, The University

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A survey of the responsiveness of plant species, typical of open and shade habitats, to simulated natural shade-light quality (i.e. white light plus supplementary far-red) has demonstrated a systematic relationship between habitat and certain developmental responses. Supplementary far-red light has a much greater effect on stem extension rate, petiole length, and leaf dry weight: stem dry weight ratio of the open habitat, shade-intolerant species. Far-red effects on leaf chlorophyll content show no such systematic grading. These results are discussed in relation to habitat adaptation. In most cases, the relationship between developmental response and the estimated phytochrome photoequilibrium, which is established by the radiation treatment, is linear. This is taken as an indication of phytochrome involvement in shade perception.

Key words

Phytochrome Development habitat Natural radiation