Journal Article

Effects of branch length on carbon isotope discrimination in <i>Pinus radiata</i>

Adrian S. Walcroft, Warwick B. Silvester, Jenny C. Grace, Sue D. Carson and Richard H. Waring

in Tree Physiology

Volume 16, issue 1-2, pages 281-286
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 0829-318X
e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Effects of branch length on carbon isotope discrimination in Pinus radiata

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Gas exchange was measured on a pruned Pinus radiata D. Don hedge and on a long-branch P. radiata tree near Hamilton, New Zealand, in spring 1993 when soil water content was close to field capacity. Foliage at the end of long branches (9.0 m) showed a marked drop in net photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance as the saturation deficit increased, whereas foliage on short branches (0.5 m) showed little change. Mean foliage δ13C was –30.1‰ for short branches and –26.3‰ for long branches.

Foliage δ13C was correlated with branch length in two genetically improved P. radiata seedlots at four stocking densities. The multinodal seedlot had shorter branches and more 13C-depleted foliage compared with branches and foliage from the long internode seedlot. There was a strong effect of stocking density on carbon isotope composition in both seedlots. We conclude that branch morphology affects foliage gas exchange properties and foliage carbon isotope composition.

Keywords: branch morphology; hydraulic conductance; productivity; stable carbon isotopes

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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