Convective gas flow and internal aeration in Eleocharis sphacelata in relation to water depth

Citation
Bk. Sorrell et Cc. Tanner, Convective gas flow and internal aeration in Eleocharis sphacelata in relation to water depth, J ECOLOGY, 88(5), 2000, pp. 778-789
Citations number
41
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-0477 → ACNP
Volume
88
Issue
5
Year of publication
2000
Pages
778 - 789
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-0477(200010)88:5<778:CGFAIA>2.0.ZU;2-I
Abstract
1 The objective of this study was to examine how increasing water depth in the field affects the aeration achieved by convective gas flow in an emerge nt aquatic sedge (Eleocharis sphacelata). 2 We compared internal pressurization, convective gas flow, changes in inte rnal gas composition, and differences in plant morphology at three depths ( 0.75-0.90 m, 1.40 m, and 2.15-2.65 m) in an oligotrophic lake. 3 Internal pressures generated in the aerial tissue of the influx culms wer e similar at all depths, but the convective inflows increased with depth du e to lower resistances to convective flow in the plants growing in deeper w ater. In contrast, rates of flow returning up the efflux culms decreased wi th depth, due to a decrease in ratio of influx : efflux culms with depth. 4 Respiration lowered the oxygen concentration in the stagnant internal gas at night, with predawn concentrations highest at the shallowest site and l owest at the deepest site. Low oxygen concentrations also persisted longer after dawn in plants at the deep site than at the other sites due to the la rge volume of stagnant gas that had to be expelled relative to the flow rat es. 5 By 14.00 h, the stagnant gas had been flushed from the plants at all dept hs, and oxygen concentrations were close to atmospheric values throughout. The two factors apparently responsible for maintaining high oxygen concentr ations when convective flow was operating were (i) morphological changes at the deep site that reduced the resistance to flow, and (ii) dissolution of carbon dioxide produced in respiration into the external medium. 6 The data indicate that the average oxygen concentration maintained intern ally over a 24-h cycle by convective flow decreases significantly with dept h, suggesting that oxygen stress due to gas transport limitations may be on e of the factors limiting depth penetration in this species and other emerg ent aquatic plants.