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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


PIERINI, Sandra Andréa  and  THOMAZ, Sidinei Magela. Adaptations of submerged plants to inorganic carbon uptake. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.3, pp.629-641. ISSN 0102-3306.

In this paper, the main theoretical aspects of the mechanisms and adaptations used by submerged vegetation to maximize the utilization of inorganic carbon are discussed. The type of strategy used by submerged plants is related to both genetic differences among species and environmental conditions. The use of C4 metabolism and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), uptake of bicarbonate (HCO3-), uptake of CO2 from interstitial (sediment) water and the development of aerial leaves are considered the main physiological and morphological adaptations to avoid CO2 limitation. These mechanisms are ecologically important given that their utilization overcome the low CO2 availability to several submerged species. In addition, they suppress the photorespiration by increasing the intracellular CO2 concentrations. Thus, these mechanisms are considered among the main reasons to explain the success of submerged plants even in CO2-poor, oligotrophic aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords : submerged plant; inorganic carbon.

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