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Photosynthetica

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 22–35 | Cite as

The physiological light response of two tree species across a hydrologic gradient in Brazilian savanna (Cerrado)

  • H. J. Dalmagro
  • F. de A. Lobo
  • G. L. Vourlitis
  • Â. C. Dalmolin
  • M. Z. AntunesJr.
  • C. E. R. Ortíz
  • J. de S. Nogueira
Original Paper

Abstract

Tropical savanna ecosystems are extremely diverse and important for global carbon storage. In the state of Mato Grosso, tropical savanna (locally known as the Cerrado), turns from well-drained, upland areas into seasonally flooded areas within the Pantanal; however, the Cerrado and the Pantanal share many common tree species, such as Vochysia divergens, a flood-adapted tree native to the Amazon Basin, and Curatella americana, a tree, adapted native to the welldrained the Cerrado. We measured the photosynthetic light response of these species in the the Cerrado and the Pantanal over a 1-year period to determine how these species physiologically adjust to these hydrologically distinct habitats. We hypothesized that neither species would experience a significant decline in maximum, light-saturated photosynthetic rate (P max) in their naturalized habitat. Physiological performance of each species was generally higher in the habitat that they were adapted to; however, our data indicated that both species have broad tolerance for seasonal variations in hydrology, allowing them to tolerate seasonal drought during the dry season in the Cerrado, and seasonal flooding during the wet season in the Pantanal. In V. divergens, flexible water-use efficiency, higher specific leaf area (SLA), and a greater ability to adjust mass-based P max (P max,m) to variations in leaf N and P concentration appeared to be key traits for withstanding prolonged drought in the Cerrado. In C. americana, increases in SLA and higher nutrient-use efficiency appeared to be important in maintaining high rates of P max,m in the seasonally flooded Pantanal. Flexibility in physiology and resource-use efficiency may allow these species to survive and persist in habitats with broadly differing hydrology.

Additional key words

ecophysiology Curatella americana leaf gas exchange neotropical wetlands Pantanal Vochysia divergens 

Abbreviations

Ca

atmospheric CO2 concentration

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

E

ecosystem

gsmax

area-based maximum, light-saturated stomatal conductance

LCP

light compensation point

N

leaf nitrogen concentration

Nmass

mass-based leaf nitrogen concentration

NUE

nitrogen-use efficiency

P

leaf phosphorus concentration

Pmass

mass-based leaf phosphorus concentration

Pmax

area-based maximum, light-saturated photosynthetic rate

Pmax,m

mass-based maximum rate of photosynthesis

PN

net photosynthetic rate

PPFD

photosynthetic photon flux density

PPT

precipitation

PUE

phosphorus use efficiency

RD

dark respiration

RDmass

mass-based dark respiration

RN

net radiation

SLA

specific leaf area

T

time

Tair

air temperature

VPD

atmospheric vapor pressure deficit

WL

water level

WUEi

intrinsic water-use efficiency

θ

convexity

Φ

maximum quantum yield

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Dalmagro
    • 1
  • F. de A. Lobo
    • 1
  • G. L. Vourlitis
    • 2
  • Â. C. Dalmolin
    • 1
  • M. Z. AntunesJr.
    • 3
  • C. E. R. Ortíz
    • 4
  • J. de S. Nogueira
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Física AmbientalIF/UFMTCuiabá-MTBrasil
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesCalifornia State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Agricultura TropicalFAMEV/UFMTCuiabá/MTBrasil
  4. 4.Departamento de Botânica e EcologiaIB/UFMTCuiabá/MTBrasil

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