, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 193–201

Acclimation to irradiance in seedlings of three tropical rain forest Garcinia species after simulated gap formation



We investigated the acclimation of seedlings of three tropical rain forest sub-canopy Garcinia species (G. xanthochymus, G. cowa, and G. bracteata) after transfer from 4.5 (LI) to 40 % (HI) sunlight and 12.5 (MI) sunlight to HI (LH1 and LH2 denoting transfer from LI to HI and MI to HI transfer, respectively). The changes of chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence, net photosynthetic rate (PN), dark respiration rate (RD), Chl content per unit area (Chlarea), leaf mass per unit area (LMA), and seedling mortality were monitored over two months after transfer. These parameters together with leaf anatomy of transferred and control seedlings (kept in LI, MI, and HI) were also examined after two months. No seedlings died during the two months. Fv/Fm, PN, and Chlarea of the transferred seedlings decreased in the first 3 to 12 d. LH1 leaves showed larger reduction in Fv/Fm (>23 % vs. <16 %) and slower recovery of Fv/Fm than LH2 leaves. PN started to recover after about one week of I transfer and approached higher values in all G. cowa seedlings and G. xanthochymus LH1 seedlings than those before the transfer. However, PN of G. bracteata seedlings approached the values before transfer. The final PN values in leaves of transferred G. xanthochymus and G. cowa seedlings approached that of leaves kept in HI, while the final PN values of transferred leaves of G. bracteata were significantly lower than that of leaves grown under HI (p<0.05). RD of G. xanthochymus LH1 seedlings and all G. cowa seedlings increased and approached the value of the seedlings in HI. The final Chlarea of both G. xanthochymus and G. cowa approached the values before transfer, but that of G. bracteata did not recover to the level before transfer. The final Chlarea of all transferred seedlings was not significantly different from that of seedlings in HI except that G. cowa LH1 seedlings had higher Chlarea than that in HI. LMA decreased within 2 d and then increased continuously until about 30 d and approached the value under HI. Spongy/palisade mesophyll ratio decreased after transfer because of the increase in palisade thickness. Leaf thickness did not change, so LMA increase of transferred seedlings was mainly due to the increase of leaf density. Thus the mature leaves under LI and MI of G. xanthochymus and G. cowa are able to acclimate to HI by leaf physiological and anatomical adjustment, while G. bracteata had limited ability to acclimate to HI.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence epidermis leaf thickness photoinhibition photosynthesis respiration species differences spongy/palisade ratio stomata density 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kunming Section, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenThe Chinese Academy of SciencesYunnanP.R. China
  2. 2.Kunming Institute of BotanyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesYunnanP.R. China
  3. 3.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China

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