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Radiat Environ Biophys. 1978 Aug 10;15(2):131-40.

Significance of leaf orientation for leaf temperature in an Amazonian sclerophyll vegetation.


The influence of leaf orientation on leaf temperature has been studied in an sclerophyll vegetation of the Amazon basin, which grows on white sandy soils of very low water retention capacity and variable depth of the water table. Leaf size of the species studied is mainly mesophyllous (sensu Raunkiaer). The high degree of leaf inclination in all species is very characteristic; 55% of the leaves present inclination angles (relative to the vertical) smaller than 45 degrees. Water potential is generally high, not being lower than -14 bars. Leaf resistance increases toward noon during the course of sunny days, indicating either water stress at leaf level or the influence of low relative humidity on stomata opening. Leaf temperature under sunny conditions reflects the influence of leaf orientation on the amount of radiation absorbed by the leaf. Temperature differences recorded range from 1.8--5.4 degrees C. The difference depends on leaf angle, leaf color and leaf diffusion resistance during the period of measurement. Analysis of the relationship between leaf angle and leaf temperature, using Gates leaf energy balance, shows that under the conditions prevailing at noon in sunny days, leaf angles smaller than 50 degrees are effective in reducing leaf temperature within a wide range of leaf resistances to water vapor transfer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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