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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Radiation-use efficiency and gas exchange responses to water and nutrient availability in irrigated and fertilized stands of sweetgum and sycamore.

We investigated how water and nutrient availability affect radiation-use efficiency (epsilon) and assessed leaf gas exchange as a possible mechanism for shifts in epsilon. We measured aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and annual photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) capture to calculate epsilon as well as leaf-level physiological variables (light-saturated net photosynthesis, Asat; stomatal conductance, gs; leaf internal CO2 concentration, Ci; foliar nitrogen concentration, foliar [N]; and midday leaf water potential, Psileaf) during the second (2001) and third (2002) growing seasons in sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) and sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) stands receiving a factorial combination of irrigation and fertilization at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Irrigation and fertilization increased PAR capture (maximum increase 60%) in 2001 and 2002 for both species and annual PAR capture was well correlated with ANPP (mean r2 = 0.77). A decreasing trend in epsilon was observed in non-irrigated stands for sweetgum in 2001 and for sycamore in both years, although this was only significant for sycamore in 2002. Irrigated stands maintained higher gas exchange rates than non-irrigated stands for sweetgum in 2001 and for sycamore in both years, although foliar [N] and Psileaf were generally unaffected. Because Ci decreased in proportion to gs in non-irrigated stands, it appeared that greater stomatal limitation of photosynthesis was associated with decreased Asat. On several measurement dates for sweetgum in 2001 and for sycamore in both years, epsilon was positively correlated with gas exchange variables (Asat, gs, Ci) (r ranged from 0.600 to 0.857). These results indicate that PAR capture is well correlated with ANPP and that gas exchange rates modified by irrigation can influence the conversion of captured light energy to biomass.[1]


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