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Quantification of leaf-scale light energy allocation and photoprotection processes in a Mediterranean pine forest under extensive seasonal drought

Maseyk, Kadmiel; Lin, Tongbao; Cochavi, Amnon; Schwartz, Amnon and Yakir, Dan (2019). Quantification of leaf-scale light energy allocation and photoprotection processes in a Mediterranean pine forest under extensive seasonal drought. Tree Physiology, 39(10) pp. 1767–1782.

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Abstract Photoprotection strategies in a Pinus halepensis forest at the dry timberline that shows sustained photosynthetic activity during 6-7 months summer drought were characterized and quantified under field conditions. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf-level gas exchange and pigment concentrations were made in both control and summer-irrigated plots, providing the opportunity to separate the effects of atmospheric from soil water stress on the photoprotection responses. The proportion of light energy incident on the leaf surface ultimately being used for carbon assimilation was 18% under stress-free conditions (irrigated, winter), declining to 4% under maximal stress (control, summer). Allocation of absorbed light energy to photochemistry decreased from 25 to 15% (control) and from 50% to 30% (irrigated) between winter and summer, highlighting the important role of pigment-mediated energy dissipation processes. Photorespiration or other non-assimilatory electron flow accounted for 15-20% and less than 10% of incident light energy during periods of high and low carbon fixation, respectively, representing a proportional increase in photochemical energy going to photorespiration in summer but a decrease in the absolute amount of photorespiratory CO2 loss. Resilience of the leaf photochemical apparatus was expressed in the complete recovery of photosystem II efficiency (ΦPSII) and relaxation of the xanthophyll de-epoxidation state (DPS) on the diurnal cycle throughout the year, and no seasonal decrease in pre-dawn maximal photosystem II efficiency (Fv/Fm). The response of CO2 assimilation and photoprotection strategies to stomatal conductance and leaf water potential appeared independent of whether stress was due to atmospheric or soil water deficits across seasons and treatments. The range of protection characteristics identified provide insights into the relatively high carbon economy under these dry conditions, conditions which are predicted for extended areas in the Mediterranean and other regions due to global climate change.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 1758-4469
Keywords: Aleppo pine; Mediterranean ecosystem; photoinhibition; carotenoids; drought; resilience
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 62460
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 09:00
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 22:27
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