The productivity of the C4 grass Echinochloa polystachya on the Amazon floodplain

M. T.F. Piedade, W. J. Junk, S. P. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Echinochloa polystachya occurs along the fertile white waters of the Amazon region. In this habitat, where neither water nor nitrogen supply are likely to be limiting to production or survival, a C4 species may realize its high productivity potential. The maximum standing crop of 80 Mg/ha and annual net primary production of 99 Mg/ha of dry matter are among the highest values recorded to natural vegetation. The mean rate of dry-matter production per unit of solar radiation intercepted by the stand was 2.3 g/MJ, an efficiency close to the considered maximum for C4 species. Despite the investment of most of its high productivity into stem material, growth of E. polystachya was only just sufficient to keep pace with the 8m rise in water level that occurs as part of the annual cycle in river discharge. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1456-1463
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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