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Plant function and evolutionary biology

Maintenance of Leaf Temperature and the Optimisation of Carbon Gain in Relation to Water Loss in a Tropical Mangrove Forest

MC Ball, IR Cowan and GD Farquhar

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 15(2) 263 - 276
Published: 1988


Properties and display of foliage were studied in relation to gas exchange characteristics of tropical mangrove species. Rates of assimilation of CO2 were maximal at leaf temperatures of approximately 30°C. The species operated with higher water use efficiencies than do most C3 species, and water-use characteristics became increasingly conservative with increase in the salinity tolerance of the species. Changes in three properties of leaves, i.e. inclination, area, and succulence, contributed to maintenance of leaf temperatures near air temperatures with minimal evaporative cooling. Interspecific differences in water-use characteristics, and their relationship to the maintenance of favourable leaf temperatures, could affect the competitive abilities of mangroves and the structure of mangrove forests.

© CSIRO 1988

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