Seasonal dynamics of photosynthesis and total carbon gain in bearing and nonbearing pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) shoots

Abstract

Seasonal changes in leaf gas exchange, assimilation response to light and leaf area were monitored in bearing and nonbearing pistachio shoots. Shoot bearing status did not directly affect leaf photosynthetic rate. However, photosynthetic light-response curves strongly varied during the season demonstrating the dominant effect of the tree’s seasonal phenology on assimilation. Early in the season low photosynthetic rates were associated with high rates of dark respiration indicating limited photosynthesis in the young leaves. As leaves matured, dark respiration decreased and assimilation reached maximum values. Photosynthetic efficiency was strongly reduced late in the season due to leaf age and senescence. Fruit load precipitated an early leaf senescence and drop that resulted in a 53% decrease in leaf area in bearing vs. nonbearing shoots, strongly decreasing the seasonal photosynthetic performance of bearing shoots. Bearing shoots produced a 26% lower seasonal carbon gain compared to nonbearing shoots.

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Abbreviations

CGdaily :

daily carbon gain

DAFB:

days after full bloom

Ic :

compensation point

Is :

saturation point

LA:

leaf area

P N :

net photosynthesis

P Ndaily :

total daily photosynthesis

P Nmax :

light-saturated net photosynthetic rate

R D :

respiration rate

PPFDdaily :

total PPFD daily intercepted by a leaf

PPFDenv :

environmental PPFD

PPFDi :

estimated PPFD incident on a leaf

PPFDleaf :

measured PPFD incident on a leaf

α:

apparent quantum yield

θ:

curvature factor

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Correspondence to G. Marino.

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Acknowledgements: We express our gratitude to L. Ferguson for correcting the English language and for helpful and constructive suggestions and critical reading of the manuscript. We thank also the editor and reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript.

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Marino, G., La Mantia, M., Caruso, T. et al. Seasonal dynamics of photosynthesis and total carbon gain in bearing and nonbearing pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) shoots. Photosynthetica 56, 932–941 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11099-017-0752-x

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Additional key words

  • alternate bearing
  • bud drop
  • carbohydrates
  • light-response curve
  • photosynthetic photon flux density