Long-term response of photosynthesis to elevated carbon dioxide in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem

Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, Phillip A. Davey, Graham J. Hymus, Bert G. Drake, Stephen P. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The response of photosynthesis was analyzed during canopy closure in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem exposed to elevated [CO 2 ] (704 μmol CO 2 /mol air; concentration of CO 2 ). The species were measured on six occasions, covering different seasons, during the third and fourth year of exposure to elevated [CO 2 ]. The entire regrowth cycle of this community has been under elevated [CO 2 ], providing a rare opportunity to assess the differential responses of species during the critical phase of canopy closure. Measurements were taken in order to determine both season-specific and species-specific differences in the response of photosynthesis to elevated [CO 2 ]. Photosynthesis was measured with an open-gas exchange system, and in vivo rates of Rubisco carboxylation (V c,max ) and electron transport (J max ) were derived to assess changes in the photosynthetic capacity in the codominant, evergreen oak species. Quercus myrtifolia did not show any change in photosynthetic capacity with prolonged exposure to elevated [CO 2 ] during any season, and as a result the increase in photosynthesis due to the increased supply of CO 2 was sustained at 72%. The codominant, Q. geminata, showed a loss of photosynthetic capacity with growth at elevated [CO 2 ], such that during most measurement periods light-saturated photosynthesis in leaves grown and measured at elevated [CO 2 ] was no higher than in leaves grown and measured at ambient CO 2 . A third oak, Q. chapmanii, showed a response similar to that of Q. myrtifolia. This suggests that at the critical phase of canopy closure in a woody community, elevation of [CO 2 ] causes a species-dependent and time-dependent change in the capacity of the codominants to acquire carbon and energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1275
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Applications
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2002

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scrub
photosynthesis
carbon dioxide
ecosystem
canopy
regrowth
gas exchange
oak
electron
carbon
air
energy
exposure

Keywords

  • Canopy closure
  • Climate change
  • Elevated CO
  • Florida scrub oak
  • Intergeneric variation
  • Interspecific variation
  • Photosynthesis
  • Quercus
  • Rubisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Long-term response of photosynthesis to elevated carbon dioxide in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem. / Ainsworth, Elizabeth A.; Davey, Phillip A.; Hymus, Graham J.; Drake, Bert G.; Long, Stephen P.

In: Ecological Applications, Vol. 12, No. 5, 10.2002, p. 1267-1275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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