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Stomatal versus biochemical limitations to dynamic photosynthetic performance in four tropical rainforest shrub species

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Abstract 

Photosynthetic performance under dynamic light regimes was assessed in four different species of tropical shrubs from the family Rubiaceae via field gas exchange measurements conducted on Barro Colorado Island, Panamá. Rates of photosynthetic induction and induction loss were assessed throughout the day in both the wet and dry seasons in order to determine the relative roles of stomata and biochemistry in limiting photosynthetic performance under transient light conditions. A high degree of coordination was observed between stomatal conductance and biochemical capacity for CO2 assimilation during induction. Rates of biochemical and overall photosynthetic induction sharply decreased when initial stomatal conductance fell below a narrow range of critical values. Time of day or season did not affect rates of biochemical deactivation upon shading, but did influence stomatal closure, which often exerted a significant influence over induction loss in the darkness. In measurements of total assimilation due to a 60-s light pulse, both biochemical activity and stomatal conductance were linearly related to total CO2 uptake. Only during the mornings of the wet season was stomatal conductance consistently high enough to be non-limiting to dynamic photosynthetic performance. At all other times, stomatal behavior exercised significant influence over induction times, photosynthetic induction loss, and total CO2 uptake from 60-s light pulses.

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Received: 17 March 1999 / Accepted: 26 October 1999

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Allen, M., Pearcy, R. Stomatal versus biochemical limitations to dynamic photosynthetic performance in four tropical rainforest shrub species. Oecologia 122, 479–486 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004420050969

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  • Key words Photosynthetic induction
  • Stomatal conductance
  • Limitation analysis
  • Psychotria spp.
  • Barro Colorado Island