Ontogenetic adaptation depth

We have seen that aquatic plants undergo adaptive changes in response to changes in the intensity and spectral quality of the ambient light. It is not surprising, therefore, that in species that in nature occur over a range of depths, adaptive changes with depth can often be observed. In this section we shall examine some of the changes that have been observed in aquatic plants accompanying increases in depth, and consider to what extent the lowered intensity or the altered spectral composition are responsible.

Fig. 12.10 Chloroplast number and structure in cells of the marine diatom Stephanopyxis turris grown in white or blue-green light (by permission, from
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