Submergence and de-submergence are common phenomena encountered by riparian plants as water levels fluctuate, but little is known about the role of physiological integration in the adaptation of clonal plants to such conditions. Luo et al. study Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed) after 30 days of submergence and find that connections between submerged and non-submerged ramets enhance the performance of the submerged ramets, but little effect remains once the ramets have then been de-submerged for 20 days. This is due to quick recovery of growth and photosynthesis, and this combines with the benefits of physiological integration in allowing riparian clonal plants to survive submergence and spread rapidly after de-submergence.
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