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ASU researchers found that not only are freshwater aquatic plants affected by climate, they are also shaped by the surrounding landscape. When in an environment where CO2 is limited, aquatic plants use strategies to extract carbon from bicarbonate. Scientists identified patterns across ecoregions around the globe and discovered a direct link between the availability of catchment bicarbonate and the ability of aquatic plants to extract carbon from that bicarbonate.
All plants need carbon dioxide, or CO2 to live. They extract it from the air and use it during the photosynthesis process to feed themselves.
Plants - Carbon - Dioxide
But what happens to aquatic plants? How do they get carbon dioxide?
Some have partial terrestrial forms, such as floating leaves or above water growth, which allows them to use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But for plants that live completely submerged in water, CO2 is limited and many of these plants have developed a mechanism to tap into other carbon sources. In this case, they extract it from bicarbonate—a naturally occurring mineral that comes from the weathering of soils and rocks and the runoff reaches the plants.
Paper - Today - Science - Researchers - Arizona
In a paper published today in Science, researchers from Arizona State University School of Life Sciences found that not only are freshwater aquatic plants affected by climate, they are also shaped by the surrounding landscape.
"In this study, we're able to show that yes, when in an environment where carbon dioxide is limited, then plants use strategies to extract carbon from bicarbonate," said Lars Iversen, principal investigator for the study and a research fellow...
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