, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 363–377 | Cite as

Effects of light and temperature on leaf anatomy and photosynthesis in Fragaria vesca

  • Brain F. Chabot
  • Jean Fincher Chabot


Fragaria vesca, the woodland strawberry, was grown under a series of controlled environments including variations in light intensity, average temperatures, and temperature amplitude around a constant mean. Observations on CO2 exchange capacities, leaf anatomy, and cell ultrastructure were made for each treatment to determine relationships between these variables. With increasing light intensity, leaf thickness, leaf density, and mesophyll cell surface area and volume per leaf surface area increased. Net photosynthesis (NPS) per leaf weight decreased with increasing light pretreatment while NPS per area increased from low to medium intensity, then decreased at the highest intensity. Depression of photosynthesis at the highest light pretreatment may have been due to massive starch accumulation in the chloroplasts associated with the sodium vapor lamps used. Correlation of all anatomical variables was highly significant with dark respiration and NPS per dry weight but insignificant for NPS per leaf area. In the variable temperature treatments, photosynthetic acclimation occurred with a shift in optimum temperature for NPS in the direction of prevailing growth temperature. Absolute rates were highest at moderate pretreatment temperatures and were reduced by extreme growth temperatures. Thick leaves with low density mesophyll became thinner and more dense with increasing growth temperature corresponding to an increase in maximum net photosynthetic rates. Leaves became thicker and more dense at the highest temperatures, but with an increase in cell damage and indications of changes in metabolic pathways. Highest correlations for gas exchange rates were with specific leaf weight (weight per area). Correlation with other anatomical variables were scattered or insignificant. It was concluded that adaptation to a range of environmental conditions cannot be consistently attributed to changes in mesophyll cell volume or surface area.


Mesophyll Cell Leaf Anatomy Leaf Weight Cell Surface Area Leaf Surface Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brain F. Chabot
    • 1
  • Jean Fincher Chabot
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Ecology and SystematicsCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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