Growth rate and phosphate utilization of some Carex species from a range of oligotrophic to eutrophic swamp habitats

Mirjam T. Veerrkamp, Wim J. Corre, Brian J. Atwell, Pieter J. C. Kuiper

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In a growth experiment at phosphate levels varying between 0,0005 and 0.1 mM phosphate, relative growth rates and other growth parameters were determined in Carex species (C. rostrata Stokes, C. limosa L., C. lasiocarpa Ehrh., C. diandra Schrank, and C. acutiformis Ehrh., listed in order of increasing nutrient availability of their natural habitats). In all species, more efficient utilization of the phosphate was observed with decreasing phosphate levels, together with reduced fresh shoot ratio. In addition, each species shows characteristics which may help it to grow under low phosphate conditions: relatively high phosphate level in the plant (C. rostrata), a low fresh shoot ratio (C. limosa) and regulation of uptake and translocation of phosphate in such a way that relative growth rate during the first two weeks is maintained or even increased for a longer period (C. rostrata, C. limosa, and C. diandra). In the studied Carex species, the contribution of fresh shoot ratio to relative growth rate is much larger than that of net assimilation rate. C. acutiformis, a species of eutrophic areas, had the highest relative growth rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1980
Externally publishedYes



  • Carex
  • phosphate supply
  • relative growth rate
  • net assimilation rate
  • fresh shoot ratio
  • phosphate utilization

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