, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 481–495 | Cite as

Atmospheric pCO2 impacts leaf structural and physiological traits in Quercus petraea seedlings

  • Leila ArabEmail author
  • Stefan Seegmueller
  • Jürgen Kreuzwieser
  • Monika Eiblmeier
  • Heinz Rennenberg
Original Article

Main conclusion

Atmospheric p CO 2 impacts Quercus petraea biomass production and cell wall composition of the leaves in favor of cellulose at the expense of lignin, and enhances foliar non-structural carbohydrate levels and sucrose contents in a pCO 2 concentration-dependent manner.

Sessile oak (Quercus petraea Liebl.) was grown for ca. half a year from seeds at ambient control (525 ppm), 750, 900, and 1000 ppm atmospheric pCO2 under controlled conditions. Increasing pCO2 enhanced biomass production, modified the cell wall composition of the leaves in favor of cellulose at the expense of lignin, and enhanced the foliar non-structural carbohydrate level, in particular the sucrose content; as well as total N content of leaves by increased levels of all major N fractions, i.e., soluble proteins, total amino acids, and structural N. The enhanced total amino acid level was largely due to 2-ketoglutarate and oxalo acetate-derived compounds. Increasing pCO2 alleviated oxidative stress in the leaves as indicated by reduced H2O2 contents. High in vitro glutathione reductase activity at reduced H2O2 contents suggests enhanced ROS scavenging, but increased lipid peroxidation may also have contributed, as indicated by a negative correlation between malone dialdehyde and H2O2 contents. Almost all these effects were at least partially reversed, when pCO2 exceeded 750 or 900 ppm. Apparently, the interaction of atmospheric pCO2 with leaf structural and physiological traits of Q. petraea seedlings is characterized by a dynamic response depending on the pCO2 level.


Amino acid Carbon dioxide Cellulose Carbohydrate Glutathione reductase Lignin 



Carbon dioxide


Dry weight


Fresh weight


Structural biomass


Malone dialdehyde


Glutathione reductase


Reactive oxygen species



This study was part of the APEK project (NO. 2047441501) funded by the Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL) and the Bundesminesterium für Umwelt, Naturschaft, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BMUB) based on the decision of the German Federal Parliament.

Supplementary material

425_2018_3016_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 85 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Arab
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Seegmueller
    • 2
  • Jürgen Kreuzwieser
    • 1
  • Monika Eiblmeier
    • 1
  • Heinz Rennenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Tree Physiology, Institute of Forest SciencesUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Forschungsanstalt für Waldökologie und ForstwirtschaftTrippstadtGermany

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