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Tree Physiol. 2007 Jan;27(1):53-61.

Interspecific variability of stem photosynthesis among tree species.

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Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution (ESE), CNRS & Université Paris Sud, Bâtiment 362, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France.


The photosynthetic characteristics of current-year stems of six deciduous tree species, two evergreen tree species and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) were compared. Gas exchange, chlorophyll concentration, nitrogen concentration and maximum quantum yield of PSII were measured in stems in summer and winter. A light-induced decrease in stem CO(2) efflux was observed in all species. The apparent gross photosynthetic rate in saturating light ranged from 0.72 micromol m(-2 )s(-1) (ginkgo, in winter) to 3.73 micromol m(-2) s(-1) (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., in summer). Despite this variability, a unique correlation (slope = 0.75), based on our results and those reported in the literature, was found between gross photosynthetic rate and dark respiration rate. Mass-based gross photosynthetic rate decreased with stem mass per area and correlated to chlorophyll concentration and nitrogen concentration, both in summer and winter. The radial distribution of stem chlorophyll differed among species, but all species except ginkgo had chlorophyll as deep as the pith. In summer, the maximum quantum yield of stem PSII (estimated from the ratio of variable to maximal fluorescence; F (v)/F (m)) of all species was near the optimal value found for leaves. By contrast, the values were highly variable in winter, suggesting large differences in sensitivity to low-temperature photoinhibition. The winter values of Fv/Fm were only 31-60% of summer values for the deciduous species, whereas the evergreen conifer species maintained high F (v)/F (m) in winter. The results highlight the interspecific variability of gross photosynthesis in the stem and its correlation with structural traits like those found for leaves. The structural correlations suggest that the selection of photosynthetic traits has operated under similar constraints in stems and leaves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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