ten years ago, Kaj Sand-Jensen and I started co-supervising a student who was
interested in submerged aquatic plants and how the distribution of these are
influenced by the water chemistry. We were particularly interested in the
common trait of submerged plants related to some species’ ability to utilize
bicarbonate as source of inorganic carbon when CO2 becomes depleted during
times of extensive underwater photosynthesis.
We teamed up with a private company, Tropica Aquarium Plants, that produces more than 100 species of submerged plants. In this way, we had a constant supply of new species for our student so that we did not have to rely on species collected in Denmark. Over the years, we kept diagnosing aquatic plants for their ability to use bicarbonate and a couple of years ago, we had a lucky combination of competences in our group so that modelling of the many experimental data was now possible.
If you would like to know what we found, please visit The Science Breaker to read the popular article entitled Aquatic plants are influenced by the surrounding landscape and then afterwards perhaps you feel ready for the real thing that came in Science.