Marine Ecology Progress Series
Carbon translocation in the marine macrophyte Zostera marina L. (eelgrass) was investigated to elucidate the impact of light/dark transitions on sucrose partitioning between roots and shoots. After exposure of leaves to C-14-bicarbonate, the level of C-14-labelled photoassimilates increased monotonically in both leaves and fully aerobic roots of plants maintained in the light. Accumulation of C-14 in roots and leaves ceased abruptly when plants were transferred to darkness that induced root anaerobiosis even though C-14 levels remained high in the dark-exposed leaves. Thus, translocation of C-14 photoassimilates from shoots to roots was inhibited when roots became anoxic. Anoxia induced by light limitation of photosynthesis, whether due to day/night transitions or periods of extreme light attenuation in the water column, can have an impact on carbon availability in subterranean tissues of eelgrass. As a consequence, light availability is likely to control the productivity and distribution of eelgrass in highly variable and light-limited coastal environments through its effects on carbon partitioning between shoots and roots, in addition to whole-plant carbon balance.
Original Publication Citation
Zimmerman, R.C., & Alberte, R.S. (1996). Effect of light/dark transition on carbon translocation in eelgrass Zostera marina seedlings. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 136(1-3), 305-309. doi: 10.3354/meps136305
Zimmerman, Richard C. and Alberte, Randall S., "Effect of Light/Dark Transition on Carbon Translocation in Eelgrass Zostera marina Seedlings" (1996). OES Faculty Publications. 111.