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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 27(5)

Altitude of origin influences stomatal conductance and therefore maximum assimilation rate in Southern Beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii

Mark J. Hovenden and Tim Brodribb

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 27(5) 451 - 456
Published: 2000


Gas exchange measurements were made on saplings of Southern Beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii (Hook.) Oerst. collected from three altitudes (350, 780 and 1100 m above sea level) and grown in a common glasshouse trial. Plants were grown from cuttings taken 2 years earlier from a number of plants at each altitude in Mt Field National Park, Tasmania. Stomatal density increased with increasing altitude of origin, and stomatal con-ductance and carbon assimilation rate were linearly related across all samples. The altitude of origin influenced thestomatal conductance and therefore carbon assimilation rate, with plants from 780 m having a greater photosynthetic rate than those from 350 m. The intercellular concentration of CO2 as a ratio of external CO2 concentration (ci/ca) was similar in all plants despite the large variation in maximum stomatal conductance. Carboxylation efficiency was greater in plants from 780 m than in plants from 350 m. Altitude of origin has a strong influence on the photo-synthetic performance of N. cunninghamii plants even when grown under controlled conditions, and this influence is expressed in both leaf biochemistry (carboxylation efficiency) and leaf morphology (stomatal density).

Full text doi:10.1071/PP99164

© CSIRO 2000

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