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The role of roots in carbon uptake by the submersed macrophytes Myriophyllum spicatum, Vallisneria americana, and Heteranthera dubia

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The carbon uptake by the roots of three common submersed macrophytes, Myriophyllum spicatum, Heteranthera dubia and Vallisneria americana, was measured in situ under a range of pH and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations. After 4–8 weeks of growth in 14C labelled sediments, less than 1.5% of the total C found in the shoots originated from root uptake. Between species, significant differences in C uptake by the root were found and root development alone could explain most of the observed variance (84%). C uptake by the roots of aquatic macrophytes thus appears to be restricted to small, rosette-shaped plants growing in poorly mineralized waters.

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Loczy, S., Carignan, R. & Planas, D. The role of roots in carbon uptake by the submersed macrophytes Myriophyllum spicatum, Vallisneria americana, and Heteranthera dubia . Hydrobiologia 98, 3–7 (1983).

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