The effects of freeze-thaw cycles and leaching on the loss of soluble carbohydrates from leaf material of two subantarctic plants

Leaves and litter of two phanerogams (Acaena magellanica (Lam.) Vahl and Poa flabellata (Lam.) Hook. f.) were collected in spring on the subantarctic island of South Georgia. Leaves immersed in water lost up to 80% of their total available soluble carbohydrates after 6–8 h. The loss of K+ and PO 4 3- followed a similar pattern to that shown by the carbohydrates. Up to 9 daily freeze/thaw cycles gave no increase in metabolite loss for senescent leaves. GLC analysis showed sucrose to be the principal leachate from Acaena. Sucrose, glucose and fructose were the main leachates from Poa. A significant proportion of the soluble carbohydrates in standing dead leaves was trehalose. The relationship of such leachates to microbial decomposition is discussed.


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Authors: Hurst, J.L., Pugh, G.J.F., Walton, David W.H. ORCIDORCID record for David W.H. Walton

1 January, 1985
Polar Biology / 4
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