, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 246–252 | Cite as

Photosynthetic traits and water use of tree species growing on abandoned pasture in different periods of precipitation in Amazonia

  • C. E. M. Silva
  • J. F. C. Gonçalves
  • E. G. Alves
Original Papers


Pasture soils in the Amazon become unsustainable after a short period of use, typically being replaced by emergent secondary vegetation (capoeira). The aim of this research was to investigate the photosynthetic capacity and water use in the most common tree species (Vismia japurensis, Vismia cayennensis, Bellucia grossularioides, Laetia procera, and Goupia glabra) in successional chronosequence. This study was carried out in secondary vegetation area with ages that vary between 1 and 19 years. Responses of gas exchange were determined during different periods of precipitation. The gas exchange decreased with advancing age of the vegetation (1–19 years), except for G. glabra. Negative relationships of P Nmax as a function of aging observed for V. japurensis, V. cayennensis, B. grossularioides, and L. procera exhibited r 2 equal to 0.59, 0.42, 0.33, and 0.58, respectively. The species of Vismia showed higher values for photosynthetic parameters in relation to other species across the chronosequence. Overall, there were differences in gas exchange only for some species between the different periods of precipitation. Therefore, our results suggest a distinct pattern of photosynthetic responses to species in early succession. Light decrease can exert a decisive role to reduce the photosynthetic rates in secondary succession species. On the other hand, the results of WUE showed weak evidence of changes for the species during dry and rainy periods in the abandoned pasture in central Amazonia.

Additional key words

chronosequence light-response curve photosynthesis, secondary succession stomatal conductance 



transpiration rate


stomatal conductance




net photosynthetic rate


light-saturated P N


photosynthetic photon flux density


dark respiration


specific leaf area


water-use efficiency


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The authors thank the National Institute of the Amazon Research (MCT-INPA) for logistical support, the Project Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments (PDBFF) for the granting of the experimental area and CAPES and CNPq for fellowships and funding for this research, and David Adams of the University of Amazon State for revising the English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. M. Silva
    • 1
  • J. F. C. Gonçalves
    • 1
  • E. G. Alves
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of the Amazon Research (INPA)Coordination of Research in Tropical ForestryManausAM, Brazil

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