A quantitative approach to the evaluation of source–sink relations in Ajuga reptans plants grown under the forest canopy (shade plants) and on an open plot (sun plants) was worked out in terms of growth characteristics, CO2 exchange, and carbon balance. Shade plants developed leaves with the relative and specific areas twice exceeding those of sun plants. Sun plants assimilated more carbon, using a significant part of it for the development of numerous runners. During a day, shade and sun plants produced 0.03 and 0.67 g of substrate, respectively. At the same time, forest (shade) plants spent 48% of assimilates for the respiration, in comparison with plants from the open plot that spent almost 70% of assimilates for respiration as they were greater in size. It was concluded, that light controls source–sink relations, which is a way of realization of the life strategy and a coordination mechanism of functional integrity of the plant organism. Light not only controls photosynthesis (source activity) but morphophysiological characteristics of plants with their hierarchical structure of sinks too.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2004
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