, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 433-445

Response of Photosynthesis to Radiation and Intercellular CO2 Concentration in Sun and Shade Shoots of Norway Spruce

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Functional differentiation of assimilation activity of sun versus shade foliage was analysed in a Norway spruce monoculture stand (age 15 years). The investigated stand density (leaf area index 8.6) and crown structure led to variation in the photosynthetically active photon flux density (PPFD) within the crowns of the sampled trees. At the saturating PPFD, the maximum rate of CO2 uptake (P Nmax) of exposed shoots (E-shoots) was 1.7 times that of the shaded shoots (S-shoots). The apparent quantum yield (α) of E-shoots was 0.9 times that of the S-shoots. A lower ability to use excess energy at high PPFD in photosynthesis was observed in the S-layer. The CO2- and PPFD-saturated rate of CO2 uptake (P Nsat) of the E-shoots was 1.12 times and the carboxylation efficiency (τ) 1.6 times that of the S-shoots. The CO2-saturated rate of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBPCO) carboxylation (VCmax) and of actual electron transport (Jamax) in the S-needles amounted to 89 and 95 % of VCmax and Jamax in the E-needles. Thus, in addition to the irradiation conditions and thus limitation by low Ja, the important limitation of photosynthesis in shade needles is due to carboxylation. This limitation of photosynthesis is accompanied by lower stomatal conductance.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.