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Photosynthetica

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 295–304 | Cite as

Variations in leaf respiration across different seasons for Mediterranean evergreen species

  • R. Catoni
  • L. Varone
  • L. Gratani
Article

Abstract

Leaf respiration (R L) of evergreen species co-occurring in the Mediterranean maquis developing along the Latium coast was analyzed. The results on the whole showed that the considered evergreen species had the same R L trend during the year, with the lowest rates [0.83 ± 0.43 μmol(CO2) m−2 s−1, mean value of the considered species] in winter, in response to low air temperatures. Higher R L were reached in spring [2.44 ± 1.00 μmol(CO2) m−2 s−1, mean value] during the favorable period, and in summer [3.17 ± 0.89 μmol(CO2) m−2 s−1] during drought. The results of the regression analysis showed that 42% of R L variations depended on mean air temperature and 13% on total monthly rainfall. Among the considered species, C. incanus, was characterized by the highest R L in drought [4.93 ± 0.27 μmol(CO2) m−2 s−1], low leaf water potential at predawn (Ψpd= −1.08 ± 0.18 MPa) and midday (Ψmd = −2.75 ± 0.11 MPa) and low relative water content at predawn (RWCpd = 80.5 ± 3.4%) and midday (RWCmd = 67.1 ± 4.6%). Compared to C. incanus, the sclerophyllous species (Q. ilex, P. latifolia, P. lentiscus, A. unedo) and the liana (S. aspera), had lower R L [2.72 ± 0.66 μmol(CO2) m−2 s−1, mean value of the considered species], higher RWCpd (91.8 ± 1.8%), RWCmd (82.4 ± 3.2%), Ψpd (−0.65 ± 0.28 MPa) and Ψmd (−2.85 ± 1.20 MPa) in drought. The narrow-leaved species (E. multiflora, R. officinalis, and E. arborea) were in the middle. The coefficients, proportional to the respiration increase for each 10°C rise (Q10), ranging from 1.49 (E. arborea) to 1.98 (A. unedo) were indicative of the different sensitivities of the considered species to air temperature variation.

Additional key words

drought leaf respiration Mediterranean evergreen species water stress 

Abbreviations

Q10

the coefficient proportional to the respiration increase for each 10°C rise

R

total monthly rainfall

RL

leaf respiration

RWCpd

relative water content at predawn

RWCmd

relative water content at midday

SWC

soil water content

T

air temperature

Ψpd

predawn leaf water potential

Ψmd

midday leaf water potential

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental BiologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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