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Light inhibition of foliar respiration in response to soil water availability and seasonal changes in temperature in Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex) forest

AuthorsTurnbull, M. H.; Ogaya, Romá; Barbeta, Adrià; Peñuelas, Josep; Zaragoza-Castells, Joana; Atkin, Owen K.; Valladares Ros, Fernando ; Gimeno, Teresa E.; Pias, Beatriz; Griffin, Kevin L.
Leaf mass per unit area
Leaf light respiration
Leaf dark respiration
Leaf functional traits
Kok effect
Soil moisture
Issue Date2017
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
CitationFunctional Plant Biology 44(12): 1178-1193 (2017)
AbstractIn the present study we investigated variations in leaf respiration in darkness (RD) and light (RL), and associated traits in response to season, and along a gradient of soil moisture, in Mediterranean woodland dominated by holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) in central and north-eastern Spain respectively. On seven occasions during the year in the central Spain site, and along the soil moisture gradient in north-eastern Spain, we measured rates of leaf RD, RL (using the Kok method), light-saturated photosynthesis (A) and related light response characteristics, leaf mass per unit area (MA) and leaf nitrogen (N) content. At the central Spain site, significant seasonal changes in soil water content and ambient temperature (T) were associated with changes in MA, foliar N, A and stomatal conductance. RD measured at the prevailing daily T and in instantaneous R-T responses, displayed signs of partial acclimation and was not significantly affected by time of year. RL was always less than, and strongly related to, RD, and RL/RD did not vary significantly or systematically with seasonal changes in T or soil water content. Averaged over the year, RL/RD was 0.66±0.05s.e. (n≤14) at the central Spain site. At the north-eastern Spain site, the soil moisture gradient was characterised by increasing MA and RD, and reduced foliar N, A, and stomatal conductance as soil water availability decreased. Light inhibition of R occurred across all sites (mean RL/RD≤0.69±0.01s.e. (n≤18)), resulting in ratios of RL/A being lower than for RD/A. Importantly, the degree of light inhibition was largely insensitive to changes in soil water content. Our findings provide evidence for a relatively constrained degree of light inhibition of R (RL/RD ∼ 0.7, or inhibition of ∼30%) across gradients of water availability, although the combined impacts of seasonal changes in both T and soil water content increase the range of values expressed. The findings thus have implications in terms of the assumptions made by predictive models that seek to account for light inhibition of R, and for our understanding of how environmental gradients impact on leaf trait relationships in Mediterranean plant communities.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1071/FP17032
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(MNCN) Artículos
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