Plant Ecology

, Volume 129, Issue 2, pp 135–140 | Cite as

Growth rates and morphological adaptations of aquatic and terrestrial forms of amphibious Littorella uniflora (L.) Aschers.

  • Søren Laurentius Nielsen
  • Kaj Sand-Jensen


Morphological – anatomical features of the terrestrial and the aquatic life form of the rosette species Littorella uniflora, inhabiting nutrient poor soils of oligotrophic lakes, were investigated together with growth rates of both life forms and of transplants. Growth rates were the same for the two life forms. However, growth of transplanted plants was somewhat reduced by transition from one environment to another. This was especially true for aquatic plants, which may be stressed by desiccation when moved to the terrestrial environment. The morphological – anatomical differences between the life forms were small compared with many other amphibious species which produce highly specialized leaves and life forms in air and under water. It is suggested that the conservative leaf morphology of Littorella is a consequence of the high dependence on rhizospheric CO2 of both the aquatic and the terrestrial form of Littorella, making production of leaves specialized for carbon uptake in one specific environment unnecessary.

Amphibious plants Growth rate Littorella uniflora Morphological adaptations 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Søren Laurentius Nielsen
    • 1
  • Kaj Sand-Jensen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Life Sciences and ChemistryRoskilde UniversityRoskilde
  2. 2.Freshwater Biological LaboratoryUniversity of CopenhagenHillerødDenmark

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