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Effects of light availability and soil flooding on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of Genipa americana L. seedlings


Effects of light availability and soil flooding on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of Genipa americana L. seedlings



New Forests 34(1): 41-50



ISSN/ISBN: 0169-4286

DOI: 10.1007/s11056-006-9036-1

Genipa americana L. (Rubiaceae) is a late successional neotropical fruit tree used in riparian forest restoration programs. We analyze the effects of light availability and soil flooding on the growth and photosynthetic characteristics of G. americana seedlings under nursery and natural light conditions. Two light levels (full sunlight and shade), and two levels of soil water (flooded and control) were used in the experiment. Flooding induced significant changes in the total seedling biomass (P < 0.01). The differences among water treatments were 70 and 10% at full sunlight and shade, respectively. These changes were explained by alterations in the maximum quantum efficiency of the photosystem 2 (Fv/Fm), light-saturated net photosynthetic rates (A(sat)) and intrinsic water use efficiency (WUE). G. americana has high physiological plasticity in relation to the light availability and flooding, although significant interactive effects between high light exposure and soil flooding were observed in several photosynthetic and growth variables. The results highlight the importance of the synergistic effects between physical environmental variables on the establishment and growth of G. americana seedlings. In the practical point of view we can indicate that, in degraded riparian forests subjected to soil flooding, seedlings of this species should be planted under partially shaded environments.

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Accession: 013365873

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