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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 6, p. 933-938
     
    Received: Apr 16, 1979


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doi:10.2134/agronj1980.00021962007200060017x

Photoassimilate Distribution in Spartina alterniflora Loisel. I. Vegetative and Floral Development1

  1. R. W. Lytle and
  2. R. J. Hull2

Abstract

Abstract

The halophytic grass Spartina alterniflora Loisel. is a major contributor to the productivity and stability of Atlantic tidal salt marshes. To better understand the reproductive resiliency of this grass, the seasonal energy transfer to vegetative and sexual reproduction was compared under marsh conditions. In most studies, the youngest fully expanded leaf blade of single culms was exposed to 14C02 at selected physiological ages during the 1972 through 1974 growing seasons. Photosynthate distribution was traced by gross radioautography and quantified by radioassay of plant parts. At all developmental stages, current photosynthate was translocated to basal tillers and to shoots originating from attached rhizomes. Even during the boot stage, basal organs including rhizomes, roots, and tillers received 6% of upper leaf photosynthate. The rhizome system became a major sink for assimilated carbon only late in the growing season. Spurtina alterniflora partitioned more than 30%, of its current photosynthetic productivity to vegetative reproduction during most ontogenetic phases.

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