Physiological Plant Ecology I

Volume 12 / A of the series Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology pp 403-437

Ecological Significance of Resistance to Low Temperature

  • W. Larcher
  • , H. Bauer

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Low temperatures reduce the biosynthetic activity of plants; they evoke disturbance in vital functions and productivity and they may inflict permanent injuries that finally bring about death. The survival capacity of a plant species or variety in a particular environment is determined by the specific limits to which its metabolic processes continue to function under low temperature stress and by its cold resistance, both of which are characteristics of its ecophysiological constitution (Larcher 1968).