Diurnal changes in leaf gas exchange characteristics in the uppermost canopy of a rain forest tree, Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. f.

Forest Environment Division, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, P.O. Box 16, Tsukuba Norin Danchi, Ibaraki 305, Japan.
Tree Physiology (Impact Factor: 2.85). 10/1996; 16(9):779-85. DOI: 10.1093/treephys/16.9.779
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. f. is a major tropical canopy species in lowland tropical rain forests in Peninsular Malaysia. Diurnal changes in net photosynthetic rate (A) and stomatal conductance to water vapor (g(s)) were measured in fully expanded young and old leaves in the uppermost canopy (35 m above ground). Maximum A was 12 and 10 micro mol m(-2) s(-1) in young and old leaves, respectively; however, because of large variation in A among leaves, mean maximum A in young and old leaves was only 6.6 and 5.5 micro mol m(-2) s(-1), respectively. Both g(s) and A declined in young leaves when T(leaf) exceeded 34 degrees C and leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficit (DeltaW) exceeded 0.025, whereas in old leaves, g(s) and A did not start to decline until T(leaf) and DeltaW exceeded 36 degrees C and 0.035, respectively. Under saturating light conditions, A was linearly related to g(s). The coefficient of variation (CV) for the difference between the CO(2) concentrations of ambient air and the leaf intercellular air space (C(a) - C(i)) was smaller than the CV for A or g(s), suggesting that maximum g(s) was mainly controlled by mesophyll assimilation (A/C(i)). Minimum C(i)/C(a) ratios were relatively high (0.72-0.73), indicating a small drought-induced stomatal limitation to A and non-conservative water use in the uppermost canopy leaves.

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    ABSTRACT: By use of tree-tower and canopy-crane systems we studied variations in the water use, including transpiration, stomatal conductance, and leaf water potential, of the uppermost sun-exposed canopy leaves of four emergent dipterocarp species in an aseasonal tropical rain forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Midday depression in stomatal conductance and leaf water potential was observed in all the species studied. Interspecific differences were clearly observed in the maxima of transpiration rates and stomatal conductance and the minima of leaf water potential among the four dipterocarp species. These interspecific variations were closely related to wood density and to factors affecting ecological patterns of distribution. Specifically, Shorea parvifolia and S. smithiana, both of which have a relatively low wood density for Dipterocarpaceae and are found on clay-rich soil, had a high transpiration rate in the daytime but had a large midday depression and a low leaf water potential. In contrast, Dryobalanops aromatica, which has a high wood density and is found in sandy soil areas, consumed less water even during the daytime. Dipterocarpus pachyphyllus, which has a high wood density and is found on clay-rich soil, stood intermediate between Shorea and D. aromatica in leaf water use. The two Shorea species had higher mortality than the others during the severe drought associated with El Niño in 1998, so daily pattern of leaf water use in each dipterocarp species might be correlated with its susceptibility to unusual drought events.
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