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Ecological Research

, 12:11 | Cite as

Growth characteristics ofNelumbo nucifera Gaertn. in response to water depth and flooding

  • Seiichi Nohara
  • Makoto Kimura
Article

Abstract

Three experiments on the effects of water depth and flooding onNelumbo nucifera Gaertn. were made in the artificial environment of concrete ponds. First, plants were harvested in autumn after growing under seven different water levels ranging from 0.2–3 m The number of floating leaves, the total number of leaves and the leaf area index of emergent leaves were greatest in the tanks at 0.5 m depth. The petiole dry weight per unit length of emergent leaves and the ratio of aboveground to belowground biomass rose with increasing water depth up to 2 m. In contrast, that of floating leaves was constant at about 10 mg dry weight cm−1. The proportion of biomass in tubers fell from 20% at 0.2 m to 6% at 2 m. Second, petiole elongation responses to the amplitude of flooding were investigated in early summer. The maximum rate of petiole elongation was 25 cm per day at 2.4 m water depth. This was the maximum depth at whichN. nucifera could grow. No petioles could elongate from 3 m to 5 m depth. Finally, the effects of timing of flooding on growth were investigated. At the end of growing season, the belowground biomass of plants in the flooding treatment in late summer was smallest among the flooding treatment plants (P<0.05), and was most severe when flooding occurred in this season. Based on the results of these experiments, the growth characteristics ofN. nucifera in relation to petiole elongation, biomass allocation, and flooding tolerance were discussed.

Key words

biomass allocation floating leaf flooding heterophylly petiole elongation water depth 

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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seiichi Nohara
    • 1
  • Makoto Kimura
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Environmental BiologyThe National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukuba, Ibaraki
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiohji, TokyoJapan

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