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Tree Physiol. 2007 Mar;27(3):335-44.

Partititioning concurrent influences of nitrogen and phosphorus supply on photosynthetic model parameters of Pinus radiata.

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School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Responses of photosynthesis (A) to intercellular CO(2) concentration (C(i)) were measured in a fast- and a slow-growing clone of Pinus radiata D. Don cultivated in a greenhouse with a factorial combination of nitrogen and phosphorus supply. Stomatal limitations scaled with nitrogen and phosphorus supply as a fixed proportion of the light-saturated photosynthetic rate (18.5%) independent of clone. Photosynthetic rates at ambient CO(2) concentration were mainly in the V(cmax)-limited portion of the CO(2) response curve at low-nitrogen supply and at the transition between V(cmax) and J(max) at high-nitrogen supply. Nutrient limitations to photosynthesis were partitioned based on the ratio of foliage nitrogen to phosphorus expressed on a leaf area basis (N(a)/P(a)), by minimizing the mean square error of segmented linear models relating photosynthetic parameters (V(cmax), J(max), T(p)) to foliar nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. A value of N(a)/P(a) equal to 23 (mole basis) was identified as the threshold separating nitrogen (N(a)/P(a) < or = 23) from phosphorus (N(a)/P(a) > 23) limitations independent of clones. On an area basis, there were significant positive linear relationships between the parameters, V(cmax), J(max), T(p) and N(a) and P(a), but only the relationships between T(p) and N(a) and P(a) differed significantly between clones. These findings suggest that, in genotypes with contrasting growth, the responses of V(cmax) and J(max) to nutrient limitation are equivalent. The relationships between the parameters V(cmax), J(max), T(p) and foliage nutrient concentration on a mass basis were unaffected by clone, because the slow-growing clone had a significantly greater leaf area to mass ratio than the fast-growing clone. These results may be useful in discriminating nitrogen-limited photosynthesis from phosphorus-limited photosynthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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