Respiratory energy costs for the maintenance of biomass, for growth and for ion uptake in roots of Carex diandra and Carex acutiformis

Authors


Dept of Plant Ecology, Univ. of Utrecht, Lange Nieuwstraat 106, 3512 PN Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

van der Werf, A., Kooijman, A., Welschen, R. and Lambers, H. 1988. Respiratory energy costs for the maintenance of biomass, for growth and for ion uptake in roots of Carex diandra and Carex acutiformis. - Physiol. Plant. 72: 483–491.

The respiratory characteristics of the roots of Carex diandra Schrank and Carex acutiformis Ehrh. were investigated. The aims were, firstly to determine the respiratory energy costs for the maintenance of root biomass, for root growth and for ion uptake, and secondly to explain the higher rate of root respiration and ATP production in C. diandra.

The three respiratory energy components were derived from a multiple regression analysis, using the relative growth rate and the net rate of nitrate uptake as independent variables and the rate of ATP production as a dependent variable. Although the rate of root respiration and ATP production was significantly higher in C. diandra than in C. acutiformis, the two species showed no significant difference in their rate of ATP production for the maintenance of biomass, in the respiratory energy coefficient for growth (the amount of ATP production per unit of biomass produced) and the respiratory energy coefficient for ion uptake (amount of ATP production per unit of ions absorbed). It is concluded that the higher rate of root respiration of C. diandra is caused by a higher rate of nitrate uptake. At relatively high rates of growth and nitrate uptake, the contribution of the rate of ATP production for ion uptake to the total rate of ATP production amounted to 38 and 25% for C. diandra and C. acutiformis, respectively. At this growth rate, the respiratory energy production for growth contributed 37 and 50%, respectively, to the total rate of ATP production. The relative contribution of the rate of ATP production for the maintenance of biomass increased from 25 to 70% with increasing plant age for both species. The results suggest that ion uptake is one of the major sinks for respiratory energy in roots.

These experimentally derived values for the rate of ATP production for the maintenance of biomass, the respiratory energy coefficient for growth and the respiratory energy coefficient for ion uptake are discussed in relation to other experimentally and theoretically derived values.

Ancillary