The responses of an early ( Rhynchospora alba) and a late ( Molinia japonica) colonizer to solar radiation in a boreal wetland after peat mining

Hirata, Ayumi; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro
October 2016
Wetlands Ecology & Management;Oct2016, Vol. 24 Issue 5, p521
Academic Journal
The responses of seedlings to solar radiation, including ultraviolet (UV), were investigated for Rhynchospora alba, an early colonizer, and Molinia japonica, a late colonizer, in a mined peatland in northern Japan. The solar radiation and rainfall were, respectively, higher and lower in 2008 than in 2009 during the field surveys. The seedlings were transplanted to bare ground, and measurements were made of the biomass, the allocation of biomass to shoots and roots, the absorbance of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B, and the concentrations of anthocyanin and chlorophyll. R. alba did not change its biomass in response to any solar radiation treatment in 2008 and decreased shoot biomass with low UV and decreased root biomass with shade in 2009. Additionally, M. japonica did not change its biomass in 2008 but decreased its root biomass with low UV in 2009. The chlorophyll concentration of R. alba did not change in 2008 or 2009, whereas the chlorophyll concentration of M. japonica increased with decreased solar radiation, including UV. The UV absorbance of R. alba decreased under shade and with high peat moisture. In contrast, the content of UV-absorbing substances remained unchanged in M. japonica. Therefore, R. alba, the early colonizer, adapted more to strong solar radiation by changing its shoot-root allometry and producing UV-absorbing substances, whereas M. japonica, the late colonizer, tended to respond more to peat moisture. These differing responses to solar radiation and peat moisture may explain the temporal patterns of species replacement from early to late colonizers.


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