Plants that use bicarbonate

Lazaro777

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Aug 31, 2021
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After watching the above video, was wondering which hardwater plants, that evolved to utilize HCO3-, are being referred to. Does anyone have a list or examples? If so, would potassium bicarbonate be a source of carbon for these plants? Particularly interested in foreground plants that "switch"to bicarbonate when

I geeked out and came across some research papers that back up what the video above is taking about. These papers mention some Anacharis and Potamogeton crispus that can utilize bicarbonate. Curious if any foreground plants "switch" to bicarbonate.


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030437701100180X


https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6467/878


The latter paper is where Potamogeton crispus is mention below figure 3.


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32689385/


I guess E viviparus uses bicarbonate?
 

Allwissend

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Let's clarify first that water hardness is determined by GH alone. pH and KH are not taken into consideration when determining if the water is soft or hard. A high or low KH (Carbonate hardness) and alkalinity will then be more relevant to the topic.

Bicarbonate use is a fallback mechanism (high CO2 will typically inhibit its use ) and less energy efficient compared to direct CO2 use. There are 2 main ways to do it , either with an external enzyme (carbonic anhydrase) to convert HCO3 to CO2 and allow that to diffuse in the cell or anion exchange to uptake the HCO3- . It is quite common in 'true aquatic' plants, within the same genus some species being better at it than others. I do not think there has been any exhaustive list published or a high % of plants relevant to the aquarium were tested.
Here are the commonly known ones:

Potamogeton
Ceratophyllum
Chara
Egeria, Elodea, Hydrilla, Lagarosiphon
Najas
Ranunculus
Ottelia
Vallisneria, Sagittaria
Callitriche
Stratiotes
Myriophyllum,
 
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