Carbon allocation to growth and storage depends on elevation provenance in an herbaceous alpine plant of Mediterranean climate

Reyes-Bahamonde, Claudia; Piper, Frida I.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A.


It is unclear whether the frequently observed increase in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in plants exposed to low temperatures or drought reflects a higher sensitivity of growth than photosynthesis in such conditions (i.e. sink limitation), or a prioritization of carbon (C) allocation to storage. Alpine areas in Mediterranean-type climate regions are characterized by precipitation increases and temperature decreases with elevation. Thus, alpine plants with wide elevational ranges in Mediterranean regions may be good models to examine these alternative hypotheses. We evaluated storage and growth during experimental darkness and re-illumination in individuals of the alpine plant Phacelia secunda from three elevations in the Andes of central Chile. We hypothesized that storage is prioritized regarding growth in plants of both low- and high elevations where drought and cold stress are greatest, respectively. We expected that decreases in NSC concentrations during darkness should be minimal and, more importantly, increases in NSC after re-illumination should be higher than increases in biomass. We found that darkness caused a significant decrease in NSC concentrations of both low- and high-elevation plants, but the magnitude of the decrease was lower in the latter. Re-illumination caused higher increase in NSC concentration than in biomass in both low- and high-elevation plants (1.5- and 1.9-fold, respectively). Our study shows that C allocation in Phacelia secunda reflects ecotypic differences among elevation provenances and suggests that low temperature, but not drought, favours C allocation to storage over growth after severe C limitation.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000608636600001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: OECOLOGIA
Volumen: 195
Número: 2
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Página de inicio: 299
Página final: 312


Notas: ISI