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Photosynthetic acclimation to light regime and water stress by the C-3-CAM epiphyte Guzmania monostachia: Gas-exchange characteristics, photochemical efficiency and the xanthophyll cycle

Photosynthetic acclimation to light regime and water stress by the C-3-CAM epiphyte Guzmania monostachia: Gas-exchange characteristics, photochemical efficiency and the xanthophyll cycle

Functional Ecology 8(6): 746-754

ISSN/ISBN: 0269-8463

DOI: 10.2307/2390234

1. The epiphyte Guzmania monostachia induced CAM activity when transferred to high light intensity (PFD) for 2 weeks under well-watered and water-stressed conditions. 2. Nocturnal acidity resulted from the refixation of respiratory CO-2; daytime CO-2 uptake was sensitive to plant water status and was reduced by water stress under high PFD. 3. In contrast, O-2 evolution characteristics were initially reduced by high PFD, with lower apparent quantum yield (AQY), photosynthetic capacity and increased light compensation point. 4. Following the 14 day acclimation period, photosynthetic O-2 evolution recovered, although variable fluorescence (Fv/Fm) exhibited a sustained depression related to photoinhibitory quenching. 5. These acclimatory processes are ascribed to a photoprotective function and were associated with an increased xanthophyll pool size and substantial formation of zeaxanthin which conferred protection during a subsequent photoinhibitory treatment. 6. Plants under low light showed reduced CAM activity, increased chlorophyll content and fluorescence yield, and did not form zeaxanthin until placed under high PFD. Photoinhibition was exacerbated for these plants especially when water stressed. 7. The ecological success of this species within the epiphytic niche in tropical forests is explained by the capacity of both carbon metabolism and light harvesting systems to acclimate in response to variations in the natural environment.

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Accession: 009191870

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