Photosynthetic light responses of apple (Malus domestica) leaves in relation to leaf temperature, CO2 and leaf nitrogen on trees grown in orchard conditions

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Abstract

Apple trees growing in orchard conditions with two levels of soil nitrogen were used to determine photosynthetic light responses in relation to leaf temperature. In addition, leaves growing along the shoot were measured, and substrate supply for photosynthesis manipulated by altering CO2 concentrations. Results indicated highly significant interactions between leaf temperature, CO2 concentration, leaf position and nitrogen concentrations on attributes of the photosynthetic light responses. Elevated CO2 enhanced the effect of leaf temperature on the light saturated rate (Amax). There were significant effects of leaf position, and apparent photon yield (quantum efficiency) of photosynthesis, Amax and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (ANUE) increased along the shoot, from leaves at the shoot base to those at apical positions; elevated CO2 enhanced these differences. A similar trend occurred with leaf nitrogen, accounting for increases in the photon yield, Amax and ANUE. It was concluded that apical leaves may have accumulated nitrogen which caused the high photosynthetic capacity and nitrogen use efficiency, as these leaves were
possibly most exposed. Basal leaves, being possibly exposed to lower light intensities, had low nitrogen concentrations which accounted for their low photosynthetic light responses. This study does demonstrate that the shoot position of the apple leaves had marked effects on the photosynthetic light response and these were correlated with the leaf nitrogen content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1161
Number of pages12
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Volume45
Issue number11
Early online date25 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2018

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