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Photosynthetic physiology of eucalypts along a sub-continental rainfall gradient in northern Australia

Cernusak, Lucas A., Hutley, Lindsay B., Beringer, Jason, Holtum, Joseph A. M. and Turner, Benjamin L. (2011). Photosynthetic physiology of eucalypts along a sub-continental rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology: an international journal,151(11):1462-1470.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 82057923xPUB56
Title Photosynthetic physiology of eucalypts along a sub-continental rainfall gradient in northern Australia
Author Cernusak, Lucas A.
Hutley, Lindsay B.
Beringer, Jason
Holtum, Joseph A. M.
Turner, Benjamin L.
Journal Name Agricultural and Forest Meteorology: an international journal
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 151
Issue Number 11
ISSN 0168-1923   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-80052293082
Start Page 1462
End Page 1470
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Publisher Elsevier BV
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Leaf-level photosynthetic parameters of species in the closely related genera Eucalyptus and Corymbia were assessed along a strong rainfall gradient in northern Australia. Both instantaneous gas exchange measurements and leaf carbon isotope discrimination indicated little variation in intercellular CO2 concentrations during photosynthesis (ci) in response to a decrease in mean annual precipitation from ∼1700 mm to ∼300 mm. Correlation between stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity contributed toward the maintenance of relatively constant ci among the sampled leaves, when assessed at ambient CO2 concentration and photon irradiance similar to full sunlight. Leaf mass per area was the most plastic leaf trait along the rainfall gradient, showing a linear increase in response to decreasing mean annual precipitation. The maximum Rubisco carboxylation velocity, Vcmax, expressed on a leaf-area basis, showed a modest increase in response to decreasing rainfall. This modest increase in Vcmax was associated with the strongly expressed increase in leaf mass per area. These results suggest that variation in ecosystem-level gas exchange during the dry season in north-Australian savannas will likely be dominated by changes in leaf area index in response to increasing aridity, rather than by changes in photosynthetic performance per unit leaf area.
Keywords Carbon-isotope discrimination
Leaf mass per area
Photosynthetic capacity
Rainfall gradient
Savanna
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2011.01.006   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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