Oxygen dynamics in a salt-marsh soil and in Suaeda maritima during tidal submergence

Colmer, Timothy D, Pedersen, Ole, Wetson, Anne M and Flowers, Timothy J (2013) Oxygen dynamics in a salt-marsh soil and in Suaeda maritima during tidal submergence. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 92. pp. 73-82. ISSN 0098-8472

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Habitats occupied by many halophytes are not only saline, but are also prone to flooding and yet surprisingly few studies have evaluated submergence tolerance in halophytes. Sediment, floodwater, and intra-plant O-2 dynamics were evaluated during tidal submergence for the leaf-succulent halophyte Suaeda maritime (L.) Dum. For S. maritime growing in soil just above the mud flat in a UK salt marsh, the soil was only moderately hypoxic just prior to tidal inundation, presumably owing to drainage and O-2 entry facilitated by frequent, large cracks. O-2 declined to very low levels following high tide. By contrast, mud flat sediment remained waterlogged, lacked cracks, and was anoxic. Plant O-2 dynamics were investigated using field-collected plants in sediment blocks transported to a controlled-submergence system in a glasshouse. Submergence during night-time resulted in anoxia within leaves, whereas during day-time O-2 was produced by underwater photosynthesis. The thin lateral roots of S. maritima presumably access some O-2 from hypoxic sediments, but could also experience transient episodes of severe hypokia/anoxia, especially as any internal O-2 movement from shoots would be small owing to the low gas-filled porosity in roots. Fermentative metabolism to lactate, producing some ATP in the absence of O-2, might contribute to tolerance of transient O-2 deficits. Lactate was high in root tissues, whereas ethanol production (tissue and incubation medium contents) was low, both in comparison with values reported for other species. Our findings demonstrate the importance of tolerance to transient waterlogging and submergence for the halophyte S. maritime growing in a tidal salt marsh. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Flooding Halophyte Tissue lactate Soil oxygen Underwater photosynthesis Wetland plant underwater photosynthesis lactate-dehydrogenase flooding tolerance plant zonation l dum anoxia tolerance gas films roots growth salinity
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany > QK0710 Plant physiology
Depositing User: Tim Flowers
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 13:59
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2014 13:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47363
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