Emersed vs Submerged growth

misobean

Hi everyone! Ive got ludwigia repens in a new 20gallon tank. It's transitioning from emersed to submerged growth and i noticed the new growth(submerged) has less space between leaf nodes/more leaves than it's emersed form. If you see the picture, the top half has more leaves than the bottom half. I noticed a lot of other plants do this too

Can anyone explain the science behind this? Does being underwater mean the plant has to make more leaves for gas exchange? Any answers are welcome! Im very curious but im a novice at biology
 

gray_matter16

This is not science, but my experience. IME, the more compact vs. leggy a plant becomes has to do with light. I actually experience the opposite of this effect you're explaining. I have my own small emersed nursery that I grow out plants in. In this emersed tank, the lighting is very bright and close to the plants. And emersed, the plants grow very compact. When I move them into fully submerged, the lighting isn't as bright or close and they grow more leggy.

But you mention gas exchange so my situation could also be impacted by the emersed growth having access to much higher levels of co2. That's my two cents anyway
 

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