August, 2008

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Applied Technology

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Invasion Mechanism of Alien Plants Revealed

Feng Yulong, research fellow of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of CAS, and his colleagues compared the differences of two kinds of alien invasive plants and two kinds of alien non-invasive plants under the same genus in physiological and ecological characteristics for the first time. The findings show that in comparison with the alien non-invasive plants under the same genus, the invasive plants have larger specific leaf area, which directly leads to their low cost in leaf construction, high distribution proportion of leaf nitrogen in the photosynthetic apparatus, and high nitrogen utilization efficiency in photosynthesis. The high distribution proportion of leaf nitrogen in the photosynthetic apparatus makes the nitrogen content in the photosynthetic apparatus of invasive plants rise, thus further resulting in the increase of their electron transfer rate and carboxylation rate in photosynthetic system and improvement of the photosynthetic capability. These properties may relate to the invasion of alien plants, of which, the large specific leaf area plays the key role. The results have been published on Planta (2008, 228: 383-390) recently.


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