Ontogenetic adaptation spectral quality

Within the underwater environment the spectral composition of the light varies greatly, both with depth within a given water body and from one water body to another, in accordance with the absorption spectrum of the water. As we saw in the previous section, laboratory studies show that variation in intensity alone can bring about marked changes in pigment composition, photosynthetic characteristics and morphology of aquatic plants. Laboratory studies have also shown that intensity is not the whole story and that the spectral quality of the incident light has, for some plants, a specific role to play.

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