Seasonal patterns of growth, tissue acid fluctuations, and 14 CO2 uptake in the crassulacean acid metabolism epiphyte Tjllandsia usneoides L. (Spanish moss).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Seasonal patterns of growth, 14 CO2 uptake, and fluctuations in tissue titratable acidity were studied over the course of a year at a study site in the coastal plain of North Carolina.Elongation rates of Spanish moss strands were maximal in the summer and minimal in the winter. Summer maximal biomass addition rates were calculated to be 3.4 mg·month-1 . Mortality of the strands was greatest in the winter months. Rates of 14 CO2 uptake and fluctuations in tissue acidity were greatest in the summer over a fairly broad spectrum of environmental conditions (day and night temperatures, irradiance, length of drought). Maximal 14 CO2 uptake rates (1.2 mg CO2 ·mg Chl-1 ·h01 ) were measured in May 1978. Rates of 14 CO2 uptake and fluctuations in titratable acidity were inhibited below 5°C and eliminated at 0°C air temperatures.Isothermal diurnal conditions resulted in low rates of 14 CO2 uptake. Tissue water content did not appear to be a major factor controlling 14 CO2 uptake rates. However, tissue wetting by rain severely reduced nighttime uptake yet stimulated low rates of daytime 14 CO2 uptake. This was the only condition in which daytime 14 CO2 uptake occurred, excluding the early morning and late afternoon 14 CO2 uptake typical of many Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) plants.The results suggest that tissue water content is not the major factor controlling CO2 uptake as has been found in many other CAM species; and that low temperatures limit the growth of Spanish moss in North Carolina.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, CE; Christensen, NL; Strain, BR

Published Date

  • July 1, 1981

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 322 - 328

PubMed ID

  • 28309990

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1939

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0029-8549

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/bf00347592


  • eng