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Effects of external iron concentration upon seedling growth and uptake of fe and phosphate by the common reed, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin ex. Steudel

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul Younger


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The objectives of this study were to determine whether, and to what degree, the aqueous iron concentration in the growing medium affects the growth of, and Fe uptake by, Phragmites australis, and whether the presence of iron in the growing environment affects the uptake of the essential element phosphate. The wetland macrophyte P. australis was grown under laboratory conditions in nutrient solution (0.31 mg L-1 phosphate) containing a range of iron concentrations (0-50 mg L-1 Fe). A threshold of iron concentration (1 mg L-1) was found, above which growth of P. australis was significantly inhibited. No direct causal relationship between iron content in aerial tissues and growth inhibition was found, which strongly suggests that iron toxicity cannot explain these results. Phosphate concentrations in aerial tissues were consistently sufficient for growth and development (2-3 % d. wt) despite significant variation in concentration of phosphate associated with roots. External Fe concentration had a significant effect on the growth of P. australis and on both Fe and phosphate concentrations associated with roots. However, neither direct toxicity nor phosphate deficiency could explain the reduction in growth above 1 mg L-1 external Fe concentration. © 2003 Annals of Botany Company.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Batty LC, Younger PL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of Botany

Year: 2003

Volume: 92

Issue: 6

Pages: 801-806

ISSN (print): 0305-7364

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8290

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcg205

PubMed id: 14565939


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