, Volume 122, Issue 1, pp 69-79
Date: 22 Nov 2008

Structural and physiological responses of two invasive weeds, Mikania micrantha and Chromolaena odorata, to contrasting light and soil water conditions

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Abstract

To better understand the requirement of light and soil water conditions in the invasion sites of two invasive weeds, Mikania micrantha and Chromolaena odorata, we investigated their structural and physiological traits in response to nine combined treatments of light [full, medium and low irradiance (LI)] and soil water (full, medium and low field water content) conditions in three glasshouses. Under the same light conditions, most variables for both species did not vary significantly among different water treatments. Irrespective of water treatment, both species showed significant decreases in maximum light saturated photosynthetic rate (P max), photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency, and relative growth rate under LI relative to full irradiance; specific leaf area, however, increased significantly from full to LI though leaf area decreased significantly, indicating that limited light availability under extreme shade was the critical factor restricting the growth of both species. Our results also indicated that M. micrantha performed best under a high light and full soil water combination, while C. odorata was more efficient in growth under a high light and medium soil water combination.