Journal Article

Photosynthetic and stomatal responses to high temperature and light in two oaks at the western limit of their range

Erik Hamerlynck and Alan K. Knapp

in Tree Physiology

Volume 16, issue 6, pages 557-565
Published in print June 1996 | ISSN: 0829-318X
e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/16.6.557
Photosynthetic and stomatal responses to high temperature and light in two oaks at the western limit of their range

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Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) and chinquapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii Engl.) leaves were exposed to high temperatures at various photosynthetic photon flux densities under laboratory conditions to determine if species-specific responses to these factors were consistent with the distribution of these oaks in gallery forests in the tallgrass prairies of northeastern Kansas, USA. Measurements of the ratio of chlorophyll fluorescence decrease, Rfd, indicated that chinquapin oak maintained greater photosynthetic capacity than bur oak across all tested combinations of irradiance (100, 400, 700 and 1000 μmol m−2 s−1) and temperature (40, 42, 44, 46 and 48 °C). In both oak species, manipulation of leaf temperature to about 47 °C for 45 min in the field led to a 45% decrease in carbon assimilation up to one week after the heat treatment, and to sharp reductions in stomatal conductance. Photosynthetic recovery patterns indicated that bur oak took longer to recover from heat stress than chinquapin oak, suggesting that heat stress may be important in determining distribution patterns of these oak species. Based on a comparison of the results with data from other forest species, we conclude that the photosynthetic temperature tolerances of bur oak and chinquapin oaks facilitate their dominance at the western limit of the eastern deciduous forest.

Keywords: chlorophyll fluorescence; heat stress; Quercus macrocarpa; Quercus muehlenbergii

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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