Carbon dioxide and water vapour exchanges for single attached leaves of the temperate C4 grass Spartina townsendii were measured under controlled environment conditions in an open gas-exchange system. The responses of net photosynthesis, stomatal resistance, and residual resistance to leaf temperature and photon flux density are described. The light and temperature responses of net photosynthesis in S. townsendii are compared to information on these responses in both temperate C3 grasses and sub-tropical C4 grasses. Adaptation of photosynthesis in this C4 species to a cool temperate climate is indicated both by the light and temperature responses of net photo-synthesis. Unlike the C4 grasses examined previously, significant rates of net photosynthesis can be detected at leaf temperatures below 10°C. Rates of net photosynthesis equal or exceed those reported for temperate C3 grasses at all of the temperature (5-40°C) and photon flax density (13-2500μmol m-2 s-1) conditions examined. Maximum rates of net photosynthesis in S. townsendii are almost double those reported for C3 herbage grasses. Unlike temperate C3 grasses, the major limitation to net photosynthesis at low leaf temperatures (10°C and below) is the stomatal resistance, showing that the low residual resistance characteristic of C4 species is maintained in S. townsendii even at low leaf temperatures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science