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Title: Needle age and season influence photosynthetic temperature response and total annual carbon uptake in mature Picea mariana trees

Using seasonal- and cohort-specific photosynthetic temperature response functions, we quantified the physiological significance of maintaining multiple foliar cohorts in mature (~40-45 year old) Picea mariana trees in an ombrotrophic Sphagnum-bog, northern Minnesota, USA. We measured photosynthetic capacity, foliar respiration (Rd), biochemistry and morphology to estimate annual carbon (C) uptake by cohort, season and canopy position. Temperature response of key photosynthetic parameters at 25 C (i.e., light-saturated rate of CO2 assimilation (Asat), light-saturated rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax), light-saturated electron transport rate (Jmax)) were clearly dependent on season and were generally less responsive in younger needles. Temperature optimums range between 18.7-23.7, 31.3-38.3 and 28.7-36.7 C for Asat, Vcmax and Jmax respectively. Current-year (Y0) foliage had lower photosynthetic capacities compared to one-year-old (Y1) and two-year-old (Y2) foliage. As Y0 needles matured, values of Asat, Vcmax, Jmax, foliar LMA and nitrogen increased. Values of Vcmax, Jmax and Rd were related to foliar nitrogen but only in the youngest (Y0) cohort. Foliar ontogeny affected photosynthetic capacity more than growth temperature. Morphological and physiological cohort differences were reflected by their annual contribution to modeled C uptake, with a ~36% lower estimated annual C uptake by Y0 needles (LAI 0.52 m2m-2) compared to Y1&2 cohorts (LAImore » 0.67 m2m-2). Collectively, these results illustrate the physiological and ecological significance of characterizing multiple foliar cohorts during bud break and throughout the growth season, and for cumulative C uptake model estimates.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Annals of Botany
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0305-7364
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States