Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Photosynthetic Activity of Leaves of Pinus radiata and Nothofagus fusca After 1 Year of Growth at Elevated CO2

KP Hogan, D Whitehead, J Kallarackal, JG Buwalda, J Meekings and GND Rogers

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 23(5) 623 - 630
Published: 1996


Radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don) and red beech (Nothofagus fusca (Hook. f.) Oerst.) were grown for over 1 year at elevated (ELEV, 64 Pa) and ambient (AMB, 38 Pa) CO2 partial pressure in open-top chambers. Springtime measurements of overwintering leaves showed that light- and CO2-saturated photosynthetic rates (Amax) of pine leaves were similar for the two treatments (AMB: 6.7 ± 1.08 μmol m-2 s-1, mean ± 1 s.e.; ELEV: 6.6 ± 0.47) but, for beech leaves, Amax was greater for AMB plants (8.8 ± 0.90 μmol m-2 s-1) than for ELEV plants (6.10 ± 0.71). Summertime measurements of leaves grown that spring showed that for pine, Amax was similar in the two CO2 treatments (AMB 14.9 μmol m-2 s-1 ± 0.80; ELEV: 13.5 ± 1.9) while, for beech, Amax was higher in AMB plants (21.0 ± 1.1) than in ELEV plants (17.2 ± 1.9), although the difference was not statistically significant. These results indicate downregulation of photosynthetic capacity of beech but not pine. Vcmax did not differ between treatments within species, suggesting that there was no acclimation of rubisco activity. Triose phosphate utilisation limitation may have contributed to the downregulation of Amax in beech. For pine, photosynthesis at treatment CO2 partial pressures was greater in ELEV plants in both spring and summer. For beech measured at treatment CO2 partial pressures, photosynthesis was greater in ELEV plants in summer, but was similar between treatments in the springtime.

Keywords: acclimation, downregulation, senescence, stomatal conductance

© CSIRO 1996

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