|The significance of lateral roots in phosphorus (P) acquisition of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)|In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Food absorption; Growth; Phosphorus; Plant morphology; Roots; Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms [WoRMS]; China, People's Rep., Hubei Prov., Wuhan, Donghu L; Fresh water
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The morphology of lateral root and plant growth in relation to phosphorus (P) acquisition of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) were examined in lakes with different nutrient levels and in mesocosm tanks with two levels of P supply (4.8 and 0.6 g m-2 per year). Lateral root was 2.43 times longer and 1.97 times denser at low-P than at high-P treatments, while the diameter decreased by 20% when the P application rate was lowered from 4.8 to 0.6 g m-2 per year. Specific root length (SRL) and specific root area (SRA) of water hyacinth were significantly higher and plant allocated more biomass to lateral root when grown in low-P environments. Although only accounting for 85.35% of total root biomass in condition with low-P availability, lateral roots constituted 99.8% of total root surface area. In natural habitats, plant displayed the same tendency as in experimental tanks. Biomass increased during the experimental period and plant P concentration declined with time under either high- or low-P conditions, the total plant P, however, remained constant at low-P treatment (P>0.05). These results indicate that the variation in lateral roots of water hyacinth can be considerable and the plant can satisfy P requirements for growth by redistribution of internal P source and increase of P absorption capability in low-P waters.