Leaf traits and gas exchange in saplings of native tree species in the Central Amazon.
by Mendes K. R., Marenco R. A. (2010)
IINPA/Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia Programa de Pós-Graduação em Botânica
IIINPA Coordenação de Pesquisas em Silvicultura Tropical, Av. André Araújo, 1756 C.P. 478 69011-970 Manaus, AM Brasil
in Scientia Agricola, 67:624-632. – http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162010000600002 –
Global climate models predict changes on the length of the dry season in the Amazon which may affect tree physiology. The aims of this work were to determine the effect of the rainfall regime and fraction of sky visible (FSV) at the forest understory on leaf traits and gas exchange of ten rainforest tree species in the Central Amazon, Brazil. We also examined the relationship between specific leaf area (SLA), leaf thickness (LT), and leaf nitrogen content on photosynthetic parameters. Data were collected in January (rainy season) and August (dry season) of 2008. A diurnal pattern was observed for light saturated photosynthesis (Amax) and stomatal conductance (gs), and irrespective of species, Amax was lower in the dry season. However, no effect of the rainfall regime was observed on gs nor on the photosynthetic capacity (Apot, measured at saturating [CO2]). Apot and leaf thickness increased with FSV, the converse was true for the FSV-SLA relationship. Also, a positive relationship was observed between Apot per unit leaf area and leaf nitrogen content, and between Apot per unit mass and SLA. Although the rainfall regime only slightly affects soil moisture, photosynthetic traits seem to be responsive to rainfall-related environmental factors, which eventually lead to an effect on Amax. Finally, we report that little variation in FSV seems to affect leaf physiology (Apot) and leaf anatomy (leaf thickness).