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Variation in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in an ozone stressed ponderosa pine pinus ponderosa stand light response

Variation in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in an ozone stressed ponderosa pine pinus ponderosa stand light response

Forest Science 28(2): 257-273

The seasonal course (May to Oct. 1977) of gross photosynthesis (from 14CO2 uptake and stomatal conductance) in a stand of ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa Laws.) in the San Bernardino National Forest [California, USA] was characterized as a function of light. Nine sapling trees, classified for comparative studies into 3 chronic injury classes (slight, moderate, severe) had experienced oxidant fumigations from California's South Coast Air Basin for .apprx. 18 yr, since their establishment following fire. The CO2-transfer pathway was partitioned into its stomatal and residual (mesophyll, carboxylation, excitation) resistance components, for conditions of light saturation and 20.degree. C. Light-saturated gross photosynthetic rates and photochemical conversion efficiencies were highest in the current-year needles and decreased with increasing needle age and oxidant injury. Maximum stomatal conductance and stomatal sensitivity to increasing light during stomatal opening followed a trend similar to that of photosynthesis, except for current-year needles, where conductance parameters were highest in the severely injured trees. This higher conductance may contribute to observed differential ozone sensitivity in ponderosa pine. Premature senesence and abscission of the 1-yr (severely injured trees) and 2-yr (slight to moderate injury) needles occurred at about the time CO2 uptake dropped to 10% of the potential for current needles of slightly injured trees without foliar injury symptoms. The ratio of the stomatal CO2 resistance to the total CO2 resistance decreased with increasing oxidant injury and needle age, suggesting that loss of photosynthetic capacity was primarily related to the loss of chloroplast function rather than to increased resistance of CO2 diffusion through the stomata.

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