Journal Article

Seasonal changes in photosynthesis of trees in the flooded forest of the Mapire River

M. D. Fernandez, A. Pieters, C. Donoso, C. Herrera, W. Tezara, E. Rengifo and A. Herrera

in Tree Physiology

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 79-85
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Seasonal changes in photosynthesis of trees in the flooded forest of the Mapire River

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We studied the flood tolerance of five tree species growing in the flooded forest adjacent to the Mapire river, in SW Venezuela. Mean photosynthetic rate and leaf conductance were 11 μmol m−2 s−1 and 700 mmol m−2 s−1, respectively. Xylem water potential ranged from –0.08 to –1.15 MPa. Based on leaf gas exchange as a criterion of tolerance to flooding, two response patterns were identified: (1) decreasing photosynthetic rate with increasing flooding and leaf conductance (Psidium ovatifolium Berg. ex Desc., Campsiandra laurifolia Benth., Symmeria paniculata Benth. and Acosmium nitens (Vog.) Benth); and (2) independence of photosynthesis and leaf conductance from flooding (Eschweilera tenuifolia (Berg.) Miers.). In the first response pattern, declining photosynthetic rate with flooding may be interpreted as a sign of reduced flood tolerance, whereas the second response pattern may indicate increased flood tolerance. An increase in xylem water potential with depth of water column was found for all species (with the possible exception of P. ovatifolium), indicating that flooding does not cause water stress in these trees. Submerged leaves that had been under water for between four days and four months generally had photosynthetic rates and leaf conductances similar to those of aerial leaves, indicating maintenance of photosynthetic capacity under water. Daily positive oscillations in glucan content in submerged leaves of P. ovatifolium and C. laurifolia suggest that submerged leaves do not represent a sink for photosynthates produced by aerial leaves.

Keywords: Acosmium nitens; Campsiandra laurifolia; Eschweilera tenuifolia; leaf conductance; Psidium ovatifolium; Symmeria paniculata; tropical forest; water stress; xylem water potential

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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