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Mesophyll conductance to CO2 and leaf morphological characteristics under drought stress during Quercus ilex L resprouting
Fleck, Isabel; Peña-Rojas, Karen; Aranda Frattarola, Xavier
IRTA. Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries
• Quercus ilex L., the dominant species in Mediterranean forests and one with a great capacity for resprouting after disturbances, is threatened by the expected increase in fire frequency and drought associated with climate change. • The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of photosynthesis limitants, especially mesophyll conductance (gmes ) during this species’ resprouting and under summer drought. • Resprouts showed 5.3-fold increased gmes and 3.8-fold increased stomatal conductance (gs) atmidday with respect to leaves of undisturbed individuals. With increased drought, structural changes (decreased density and increased thickness) in resprouts contributed to the observed higher photosynthesis and increased gmes. However, gmes only partially depended on leaf structure, and was also under physiological control. Resprouts also showed lower non-stomatal limitations (around 50% higher carboxylation velocity (Vc,max) and capacity for ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate regeneration (Jmax)). A significant contribution of gmes to leaf carbon isotope discrimination values was observed. • gmes exhibits a dominant role in photosynthesis limitation in Q. ilex and is regulated by factors other than morphology. During resprouting after disturbances, greater capacity to withstand drought, as evidenced by higher gmes , gs and lower non-stomatal limitants, enables increased photosynthesis and rapid growth.
63 - Agricultura. Silvicultura. Zootècnia. Caça. Pesca
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