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Tree Physiol. 1994 May;14(5):481-95.

Movement of respiratory CO(2) in stems of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings.

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  • 1School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Temperature-independent fluctuations in stem CO(2) efflux were measured in Pinus taeda L. seedlings. Stem CO(2) efflux was measured during high and low transpiration rates, high and low net photosynthesis rates, and normal and interrupted substrate supply conditions. Stem CO(2) efflux rates were an average of 6.7% lower during periods of high transpiration compared to periods of low transpiration. This difference in stem CO(2) efflux rates was not due to water stress. The most likely cause was movement of respiratory CO(2) in the transpiration stream. Interruption of substrate supply to the stem by phloem girdling reduced stem CO(2) efflux rates. Increasing net photosynthesis rates from low to high had no effect on stem CO(2) efflux, but decreasing net photosynthesis from high to low caused relatively small reductions in stem CO(2) efflux. These results indicate that diurnal changes in net photosynthesis rate may play a small role in temperature-independent afternoon depressions of stem CO(2) efflux. The transport of respiratory CO(2) by the transpiration stream compromises measurements of woody tissue respiration obtained by commonly accepted gas exchange techniques. This phenomenon could also affect measurement of leaf net photosynthesis and branch woody tissue respiration.

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