, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 421–429 | Cite as

Diurnal and seasonal variation in photosynthesis of peach palms grown under subtropical conditions

  • M. L. S. TucciEmail author
  • N. M. Erismann
  • E. C. Machado
  • R. V. Ribeiro
Original Papers


The Amazonian peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) has been grown for heart-of-palm production under subtropical conditions. As we did not see any substantial study on its photosynthesis under Amazonian or subtropical conditions, we carried out an investigation on the diurnal and seasonal variations in photosynthesis of peach palms until the first heart-of-palm harvest, considering their relationship with key environmental factors. Spineless peach palms were grown in 80-L plastic pots, under irrigation. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence emission measurements were taken in late winter, mid spring, mid summer and early autumn, from 7:00 to 18:00 h, with an additional chlorophyll fluorescence measurement at 6:00 h. The highest net CO2 assimilation (P N), observed in mid summer, reached about 15 μmol m−2 s−1, which was about 20% higher than the maximum values found in autumn and spring, and 60% higher than that in winter The same pattern of diurnal course for P N was observed in all seasons, showing higher values from 8:00 to 9:00 h and declining gradually from 11:00 h toward late afternoon. The diurnal course of stomatal conductance (g s) followed the same pattern of P N, with the highest value of 0.6 mol m−2 s−1 being observed in February and the lowest one (0.23 mol m−2 s−1) in September. The maximal quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) was above 0.75 in the early morning in all the months. The reversible decrease was observed around midday in September and October, suggesting the occurrence of dynamic photoinhibition. A significant negative correlation between the leaf-air vapour pressure difference (VPDleaf-air) and P N and a positive correlation between P N and g s were observed. The photosynthesis of peach palm was likely modulated mainly by the stomatal control that was quite sensible to atmospheric environmental conditions. Under subtropical conditions, air temperature (T air) and VPDleaf-air impose more significant effects over P N of peach palm than an excessive photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). The occurrence of dynamic photoinhibition indicates that under irrigation, peach palms appeared to be acclimated to the full-sunlight conditions under which they have been grown.

Additional key words

Bactris gasipaes chlorophyll fluorescence gas exchange stomatal conductance vapour pressure deficit 



absolute growth rate


intercellular CO2 concentration


apparent electron transport rate


instantaneous fluorescence of light-adapted state


minimal fluorescence yield of dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence of dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence of light-adapted state


variable fluorescence of dark-adapted state


maximal PSII quantum yield


stomatal conductance


net CO2 assimilation


photosynthetic photon flux density


photosystem II


air temperature


leaf temperature


air vapour pressure deficit


leaf-toair vapour pressure difference


variable fluorescence of light-adapted state


effective PSII quantum yield


leaf water potential


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp, Brazil) for financial support (no 00/02782-6). E.C. Machado and R.V. Ribeiro are also grateful to the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil) for the fellowship granted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. S. Tucci
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. M. Erismann
    • 2
  • E. C. Machado
    • 2
  • R. V. Ribeiro
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Tropical Plants, Center for Research and Development in HorticultureInstituto AgronomicoCampinas/SPBrazil
  2. 2.Section of Plant Physiology, Center for Research and Development in Ecophysiology and BiophysicsInstituto AgronomicoCampinas/SPBrazil

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