, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 396–404 | Cite as

Responses of clonal growth and photosynthesis in Amomum villosum to different light environments

  • Y. H. Guo
  • C. Yuan
  • L. Tang
  • J. M. Peng
  • K. L. Zhang
  • G. Li
  • X. J. Ma
Original papers


Clonal growth is of great importance for survival, growth, expansion, and resource utilization of some species. Knowing how clonal plants respond morphologically and physiologically to different light environments can be useful to explain their occurrence and abundance patterns under specific environmental conditions. Responses of clonal growth, leaf gas exchange, fluorescence emission, and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to different light environments (100, 60, 30, and 15%) were studied in Amomum villosum, grown in the traditional way for economic purpose in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. The results showed that A. villosum attained vigorous clonal growth under 30% and 60% light, with a higher plant height, number of ramets, stolon length, thicker stems and stolons. Shade-grown A. villosum possessed a larger leaf area than that of the sun-grown plants in order to capture more light. For A. villosum, the higher light-saturated net photosynthetic rate, light-saturation point, larger fresh and dry biomass can explained the better clonal growth for A. villosum under 30% and 60% light. Amomum villosum attained the highest values of minimal chlorophyll fluorescence under 100% light and the lowest values of maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII under 15% light. Our findings indicated that the full irradiance was too strong and 15% light was too weak for A. villosum plants. It was also verified by higher concentrations of photosynthetic pigments in the shaded plants compared to those grown under full sun light. Our results suggested that A. villosum seemed to be adapted to moderate light environment (60–30%) which was indicated by vigorous clonal growth and higher photosynthesis. This information is very useful to select clonal species for rainforest or understory projects. The cultivation of A. villosum in rainforest should not be done under too strong (100%) or too weak light environment (less than 15%).

Additional key words

gas exchange leaf morphological traits ramets shade stolon stretch 







full sunlight


minimal fluorescence yield of the dark adapted state


maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


light-compensation point


light-saturation point


lightsaturated net photosynthetic rate


dark respiration rate


15% shading


30% shading


60% shading


apparent quantum yield


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. H. Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Yuan
    • 2
  • L. Tang
    • 2
  • J. M. Peng
    • 2
  • K. L. Zhang
    • 1
  • G. Li
    • 2
  • X. J. Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medicinal Plant DevelopmentChinese Academy of Medical SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Medicinal Plant Development Yunnan BranchChinese Academy of Medical SciencesJinghongChina

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