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Photosynthetic properties of C-4 plants growing in an African savanna/wetland mosaic

Mantlana, K. B.; Arneth, Almut LU ; Veenendaal, E. M.; Wohland, P.; Wolski, P.; Kolle, O.; Wagner, M. and Lloyd, J. (2008) In Journal of Experimental Botany 59(14). p.3941-3952
Abstract
Photosynthesis rates and photosynthesis-leaf nutrient relationships were analysed in nine tropical grass and sedge species growing in three different ecosystems: a rain-fed grassland, a seasonal floodplain, and a permanent swamp, located along a hydrological gradient in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. These investigations were conducted during the rainy season, at a time of the year when differences in growth conditions between the sites were relatively uniform. At the permanent swamp, the largest variations were found for area-based leaf nitrogen contents, from 20 mmol m(-2) to 140 mmol m(-2), nitrogen use efficiencies (NUE), from 0.2 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1) to 2.0 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1), and specific leaf areas (SLA), from 50 cm(2)... (More)
Photosynthesis rates and photosynthesis-leaf nutrient relationships were analysed in nine tropical grass and sedge species growing in three different ecosystems: a rain-fed grassland, a seasonal floodplain, and a permanent swamp, located along a hydrological gradient in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. These investigations were conducted during the rainy season, at a time of the year when differences in growth conditions between the sites were relatively uniform. At the permanent swamp, the largest variations were found for area-based leaf nitrogen contents, from 20 mmol m(-2) to 140 mmol m(-2), nitrogen use efficiencies (NUE), from 0.2 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1) to 2.0 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1), and specific leaf areas (SLA), from 50 cm(2) g(-1) to 400 cm(2) g(-1). For the vegetation growing at the rainfed grassland, the highest leaf gas exchange rates, high leaf nutrient levels, a low ratio of intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration, and high carboxylation efficiency were found. Taken together, these observations indicate a very efficient growth strategy that is required for survival and reproduction during the relatively brief period of water availability. The overall lowest values of light-saturated photosynthesis (A(sat)) were observed at the seasonal floodplain; around 25 mu mol m(-2) s(-1) and 30 mu mol m(-2) s(-1). To place these observations into the broader context of functional leaf trait analysis, relationships of photosynthesis rates, specific leaf area, and foliar nutrient levels were plotted, in the same way as was done for previously published 'scaling relationships' that are based largely on C-3 plants, noting the differences in the analyses between this study and the previous study. The within-and across-species variation in both A(sat) and SLA appeared better predicted by foliar phosphorus content (dry mass or area basis) rather than by foliar nitrogen concentrations, possibly because the availability of phosphorus is even more critical than the availability of nitrogen in the studied relatively oligotrophic ecosystems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
specific leaf area, nitrogen use efficiency, net photosynthesis, leaf phosphorus, C-4 species, leaf nitrogen, stomatal conductance
in
Journal of Experimental Botany
volume
59
issue
14
pages
3941 - 3952
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000260556800013
  • scopus:55249105197
ISSN
0022-0957
DOI
10.1093/jxb/ern237
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09bdd72c-5683-485d-b06d-ef583059828f (old id 1283125)
date added to LUP
2009-02-10 12:04:56
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:58:14
@article{09bdd72c-5683-485d-b06d-ef583059828f,
  abstract     = {Photosynthesis rates and photosynthesis-leaf nutrient relationships were analysed in nine tropical grass and sedge species growing in three different ecosystems: a rain-fed grassland, a seasonal floodplain, and a permanent swamp, located along a hydrological gradient in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. These investigations were conducted during the rainy season, at a time of the year when differences in growth conditions between the sites were relatively uniform. At the permanent swamp, the largest variations were found for area-based leaf nitrogen contents, from 20 mmol m(-2) to 140 mmol m(-2), nitrogen use efficiencies (NUE), from 0.2 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1) to 2.0 mmol (C) mol(-1) (N) s(-1), and specific leaf areas (SLA), from 50 cm(2) g(-1) to 400 cm(2) g(-1). For the vegetation growing at the rainfed grassland, the highest leaf gas exchange rates, high leaf nutrient levels, a low ratio of intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration, and high carboxylation efficiency were found. Taken together, these observations indicate a very efficient growth strategy that is required for survival and reproduction during the relatively brief period of water availability. The overall lowest values of light-saturated photosynthesis (A(sat)) were observed at the seasonal floodplain; around 25 mu mol m(-2) s(-1) and 30 mu mol m(-2) s(-1). To place these observations into the broader context of functional leaf trait analysis, relationships of photosynthesis rates, specific leaf area, and foliar nutrient levels were plotted, in the same way as was done for previously published 'scaling relationships' that are based largely on C-3 plants, noting the differences in the analyses between this study and the previous study. The within-and across-species variation in both A(sat) and SLA appeared better predicted by foliar phosphorus content (dry mass or area basis) rather than by foliar nitrogen concentrations, possibly because the availability of phosphorus is even more critical than the availability of nitrogen in the studied relatively oligotrophic ecosystems.},
  author       = {Mantlana, K. B. and Arneth, Almut and Veenendaal, E. M. and Wohland, P. and Wolski, P. and Kolle, O. and Wagner, M. and Lloyd, J.},
  issn         = {0022-0957},
  keyword      = {specific leaf area,nitrogen use efficiency,net photosynthesis,leaf phosphorus,C-4 species,leaf nitrogen,stomatal conductance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {14},
  pages        = {3941--3952},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Botany},
  title        = {Photosynthetic properties of C-4 plants growing in an African savanna/wetland mosaic},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern237},
  volume       = {59},
  year         = {2008},
}