, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 313–316

Photosynthetic acclimation to variability in the light environment of early and late successional plants

  • F. A. Bazzaz
  • Roger W. Carlson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00379999

Cite this article as:
Bazzaz, F.A. & Carlson, R.W. Oecologia (1982) 54: 313. doi:10.1007/BF00379999


Fourteen plant species from early-, mid-, and late-successional habitats were grown for a period of 25 to 50 days in each of two light environments, i.e. full sunlight and in deep shade. The rate of photosynthesis for newly formed leaves was measured as a function of light intensity for plants from each light environment. Photosynthetic flexibility, measured as the difference in response between sun- and shade-grown plants, was determined for each of 5 parameters including dark respiration, quantum yield, light compensation, half-saturating irradiance for photosynthesis, and the photosynthetic rate at 1,400 μE m-2 s-1. We found photosynthetic flexibility to be high for early successional annuals, intermediate for midsuccessional species, and low for late successional species.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. A. Bazzaz
    • 1
  • Roger W. Carlson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA