Leaf Gas Exchange, Photon Capture and Light Harvest in Aldina heterophylla along a Vegetation Gradient in the Amazon Rainforest


Adaptation along environmental gradients is presumed to induce physiological and biochemical leaf changes in plant species. In this paper, we report how leaf gas exchange, photon capture and light harvest for photosynthesis in Aldina heterophylla change along a vegetation gradient from low stature open vegetation on extremely nutrient-poor white sand (Campina, CP), through inter-mediate closet type (Campinarana, CR) to tall closed rain forest (RF). The pigment concentrations did not differ between the CP, CR and RF habitats. The performance index for the photosynthesis (PIABS) of individuals in RF and CP was approximately 30% higher than that in CR individuals. This species showed similar potential rates of photosynthesis in the different vegetation types; however, the dark respiration rates were higher in CP. Our results indicate that the differences in the leaves and soil nitrogen concentrations are not enough to change the levels of gas exchange. Other environmental features may be driving the observed morphological features in this gradient, in particular, the tree height.

Share and Cite:

Rodrigues, J. and Gonçalves, J. (2014) Leaf Gas Exchange, Photon Capture and Light Harvest in Aldina heterophylla along a Vegetation Gradient in the Amazon Rainforest. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 1477-1488. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.510163.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Gonçalves, J.F.C., Marenco, R.A. and Vieira, G. (2001) Concentration of Photosynthetic Pigments and Chlorophyll Fluorescence of Mahogany and Tonka Bean under Two Light Environments. Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia Vegetal, 13, 149-157.
[2] Gonçalves, J.F.C., Barreto, D.C. de S., Santos Jr., U.M. dos, Fernandes, A.V., Sampaio, P.T.B. and Buckeridge, M.S. (2005) Grown, Photosynthesis and Stress Indicators in Young Rosewood Plants (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) under Different Light Intensities. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology, 17, 325-334.
[3] Neir, P., Levy, P.E., Grace, J. and Paul, G.J. (2007) Photosynthetic Parameters from Two Contrasting Woody Vegetation Types in West Africa. Plant Ecology, 192, 277-287.
[4] Portes, M.T., Alves, T.H. and Souza, G.M. (2008) Time-Curse of Photosynthetic Induction in Four Tropical Woody Species Grown in Contrasting Irradiance Habitats. Photosynthetica, 46, 431-440.
[5] Guidi, L., Degl’Innocenti, E., Remorini, D., Biricolt, S., Fini, A., Ferrini, F., Nicese, .F P. and Tattini, M. (2011) The Impact of UV-Radiation on the Physiology and Biochemistry of Ligustrum vulgare Exposed to Different Visible-Light Irradiance. Environmental Experimental Botany, 70, 88-95.
[6] Craven, D., Hall, J.S., Ashton, M.S. and Berlyn, G.P. (2013) Water-Use Efficiency and Whole-Plant Performance of Nine Tropical Tree Species at Two Sites with Contrasting Water Availability in Panama. Trees, 27, 639-653.
[7] Sobrado, M.A. (2009) Leaf Tissue Water Relations and Hydraulic Properties of Sclerophyllous Vegetation on White Sands of the Upper Rio Negro in the Amazon Region. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 25, 271-280.
[8] Sobrado, M.A. (2009) Cost-Benefit Relationships in Sclerophyllous Leaves of the “Bana” Vegetation in the Amazon Region. Trees, 23, 429-437.
[9] Sobrado, M.A. (2012) Leaf Tissue Water Relations in Tree Species from Contrasting Habitats within the Upper Rio Negro Forests of the Amazon Region. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 28, 519-522.
[10] Hikosaka, K. (2004) Interspecific Difference in the Photosynthesis-Nitrogen Relationship: Patterns, Physiological Causes, and Ecological Importance. Journal of Plant Research, 117, 481-494.
[11] Hirose, T. and Oikawa, S. (2012) Mean Residence Time of Leaf Number, Area, Mass, and Nitrogen in Canopy Photosynthesis. Oecologia, 169, 927-937.
[12] Grassi, G., Meir, P., Cromer, R., Tompkins, D. and Jarvis, P.G. (2002) Photosynthetic Parameters in Seedlings of Eucalyptus grandis as Affected by Rate of Nitrogen Supply. Plant Cell and Environmental, 25, 1677-1688.
[13] Hikosaka, K., Sudoh, S. and Hirose, T. (1999) Light Acquisition and Use by Individuals Competing in a Dense Stand of an Annual Herb, Xanthium canadense. Oecologia, 18, 388-396.
[14] Strasser, R.J., Srivastava, A. and Tsimilli-Michael, M. (2004) Analysis of the Chlorophyll a Fluorescence Transient. In: Papageorgiou, G.C., Govindjee, Ed., Chlorophyll Fluorescence: A Signature of Photosynthesis, Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration Series, 19, Springer, Berlin, 321-362.
[15] Anderson, A.B. (1975) Estudos sobre a vegetação das Campinas Amazônicas III—A vegetação lenhosa da Campina da Reserva Biológica INPA—SUFRAMA (Manaus-Caracaraí, Km 62). Acta Amazônica, 5, 225-246.
[16] Leitão, M.M.V.B.R., Santos, J.M. and Oliveira, G.M. (2002) Estimativas do albedo em três ecossistemas da floresta amazônica. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agricola e Ambiental, 6, 256-261.
[17] Ferreira, C.A. (1997) Variação florística e fisionômica da vegetação de transição Campina, Campinarana e Floresta de terra firme na Amazônia Central, Manaus (AM). Dissertation, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Recife.
[18] Luizão, F.J. (1995) Ecological Studies in Three Contrasting Vegetation Types in Central Amazonia. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Stirling, Stirling.
[19] Mardegan, S.F., Nardoto, G.B., Higuchi, N., Moreira, M.Z. and Martinelli, L.A. (2009) Nitrogen Availability Patterns in White-Sand Vegetations of Central Brazilian Amazon. Trees, 23, 479-488.
[20] Lewis, G., Schrireb, B., Mackinder, B. and Lock, M. (2005) Legumes of the World. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.
[21] Moyersoen, B. (2012) Dispersion, an Important Radiation Mechanism for Ectomycorrhizal Fungi in Neotropical Lowland Forests? In: Sudarshana, P., Nageswara-Rao, M. and Soneji, J.R., Eds., Tropical Forests, Chapter 6, InTech, Winchester, 388 p.
[22] Alencar, J. da C. (1990) Interpretação fenológica de espécies lenhosa de Campina na Reserva Biológica de Campina do INPA ao norte de Manaus. Acta Amazônica, 20, 145-183.
[23] Lichtenthaler, H.K. and Wellburn, A.R. (1983) Determination of Total Carotenoids and Chlorophyll a and b of Leaf Extracts in Different Solvents. Biochemical Society Transactions, 603, 591-603.
[24] Hendry, G.A.F. and Price, A.H. (1993) Stress Indicators: Chlorophylls and Carotenoids. In: Hendry, G.A.F. and Grime, J.P., Eds., Methods in Comparative Plant Ecology, Chapman Hall, London, 148-152.
[25] Iqbal, R.M., Rao, Aur.-R., Rasul, E. and Wahid, A. (1997) Mathematical Models and Response Functions in Photosynthesis: An Exponential Model. In: Pessarakli, M., Ed., Handbook of Photosynthesis, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 803-810.
[26] Nishio, J.N. (2000) Why Are Higher Plants Green? Evolution of the Higher Plant Photosynthetic Pigment Complement. Plant Cell and Environmental, 23, 539-548.
[27] Silva, F.C. (1999) Manual de análises químicas de solos, plantas e fertilizantes. Embrapa Comunicação para Transferência de Tecnologia, Brasília, DF; Embrapa Solos, Rio de Janeiro; Embrapa Informática Agropecuária, Campinas, 370 p.
[28] Miyazawa, M., Pavan, M.A., Muraoka, T., Carmo, C.A.F.S. and Mello, W.J. (1999) Análise química de tecidos vegetais. In: Silva, F.C., Ed., Manual de Análise Química de Solos, Plantas e Fertilizantes, EMBRAPA, Brasília, 172-223.
[29] Hölscher, D. (2004) Leaf Traits and Photosynthetic Parameters of Saplings and Adult Trees of Co-Existing Species in a Temperate Broad-Leaved Forest. Basic and Applied Ecology, 5, 163-172.
[30] Li, Z., Wakao, S., Fischer, B.B. and Niyogi, K.K. (2009) Sensing and Responding to Excess Light. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 60, 239-260.
[31] Tausz, M., González-Rodríguez, A., Wonisch, A., Peters, J., Grill, D., Morales, D. and Jiménez, M.S. (2004) Photostress, Photoprotection, and Water Soluble Antioxidants in the Canopies of Five Canarian Laurel Forest Tree Species during a Diurnal Course. Flora, 199, 110-119.
[32] Pacheco, F.V., Silveira, H.R. de O., Alvarenga, A.A., Alvarenga, I.C.A., Pinto, J.E.B.P. and Lira, J.M.S. (2013) Gas Exchange and Production of Photosynthetic Pigments of Piper aduncum L. Grown at Different Irradiances. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4, 114-112.
[33] Bungard, R.A., Press, M.B. and Sholes, J.D. (2000) The Influence of Nitrogen on Rain Forest Dipterocarp Seedlings Exposed to a Large Increase in Irradiance. Plant, Cell & Environment, 23, 1183-1194.
[34] Eichelmann, H., Oja, V., Rasulov, B., Padu, E., Bichele, I., Pettai, H., Mänd, P., Kull, O. and Laisk, A. (2005) Adjustment of Leaf Photosynthesis to Shade in a Natural Canopy: Reallocation of Nitrogen. Plant, Cell & Environment, 28, 389-401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2004.01274.x
[35] Fritschi, F.N. and Ray, J.D. (2007) Soybean Leaf Nitrogen, Chlorophyll Content, and Chlorophyll a/b Ratio. Photosynthetica, 45, 92-98.
[36] Sobrado, M.A. (2008) Leaf Characteristics and Diurnal Variation of Chlorophyll Fluorescence in Leaves of the “Bana” Vegetation of the Amazon Region. Photosynthetica, 46, 202-207.
[37] Barth, C., Krause, G.H. and Winter, K. (2001) Responses of Photosystem I Compared with Photosystem II to High-Light Stress in Tropical Shade and Sun Leaves. Plant, Cell & Environment, 24, 163-176.
[38] Björkman, O. and Demmig-Admas, B. (1987) Photon Yield of O2 Evolution and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Characteristics at 77 K among Vascular Plants of Diverse Origins. Planta, 170, 489-504.
[39] Sobrado, M.A. (2011) Leaf Pigments Composition and Fluorescence Signatures of Top Canopy Leaves in Species of Upper Rio Negro Forests. Research Journal of Botany, 6, 141-149.
[40] Strauss, A.J., Krüger, G.H.J., Strasser, R.J. and Van Heerden, P.D.R. (2006) Ranking of Dark Chilling Tolerance in Soybean Genotypes Probed by the Chlorophyll a Fluorescence Transient O-J-I-P. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 56, 147-157.
[41] Gonçalves, J.F.C., Santos Jr., U.M., Nina Jr., A.R. and Chevreuil, L.R. (2007) Energetic Flux and Performance Index in Copaiba (Copaifera multijuga Hyne) and Mahogany (Swietenia macrophilla King) Seedlings Grown under Two Irradiance Environments. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology, 19, 171-184.
[42] Thach, B.L., Shapcott A., Schmidt, S. and Critchley, C. (2007) The OJIP Fast Fluorescence Rise Characterizes Graptophyllum Species and Their Stress Response. Photosynthesis Research, 94, 423-436.
[43] Petsas, A. and Grammatikopoulos, G. (2009) Drought Resistance and Recovery of Photosystem II Activity in a Mediterranean Semi-Deciduous Shrub at the Seedling Stage. Photosynthetica, 47, 284-292.
[44] Dongsansuk, A., Lütz, C. and Neuner, G. (2013) Effects of Temperature and Irradiance on Quantum Yield of PSII Photochemistry and Xanthophyll Cycle in a Tropical and a Temperate Species. Photosynthetica, 51, 13-21.
[45] De Ronde, J.A., Cress, W.A., Krüger, G.H.J., Strasser, R.J. and Van Staden, J. (2004) Photosynthetic Response of Transgenic Soybean Plants, Containing an Arabidopsis P5CR Gene, during Heat and Drought Stress. Journal of Plant Physiology, 161, 1211-1224.
[46] Valladares, F. and Pearcy, R.W. (2002) Drought Can Be More Critical in the Shade than in the Sun: A Field Study of Carbon Gain and Photo-Inhibition in a Californian Shrub during a Dry El Niño Year. Plant Cell and Environment, 25, 749-759.
[47] Posada, J.M., Lechowicz, M.J. and Kitajima, K. (2009) Optimal Photosynthetic Use of Light by Tropical Tree Crowns Achieved by Adjustment of Individual Leaf Angles and Nitrogen Content. Annals of Botany, 103, 795-805.
[48] Gessler, A., Tcherkez, G., Karyanto, O., Keitel, C., Ferrio, J.P., Ghashghaie, J., Kreuzwieser, J. and Farquhar, G.D. (2009) On the Metabolic Origin of the Carbon Isotope Composition of CO2 Evolved from Darkened Light-Acclimated Leaves in Ricinus communis. New Phytologist, 181, 374-386.
[49] Criddle, R.S., Smith, B.N. and Hansen, L.D. (1997) A Respiration Based Description of Plant Growth Rate Response to Temperature. Planta, 201, 441-445.
[50] Atkin, O.K., Bruhn, D., Hurry, V.M. and Tjeolker, M.G. (2005) The Hot and the Cold: Unravelling the Variable Response of Plant Respiration to Temperature. Functional Plant Biology, 32, 87-105.
[51] Wright, I.J., Reich, P.B., Atkin, O.K., Lusk, C.H., Tjoelker, M.G. and Westoby, M. (2006) Irradiance, Temperature and Rainfall Influence Leaf Dark Respiration in Woody Plants: Evidence from Comparisons across 20 Sites. New Phytologist, 169, 309-319.
[52] Tjoelker, M.G., Oleksyn, J., Lorenc-Plucinska, G. and Reich, P.B. (2008) Acclimation of Respiratory Temperature Responses in Northern and Southern Populations of Pinus banksiana. New Phytologist, 181, 218-229.
[53] Haraguchi, A. and Yamada, N. (2011) Temperature Dependency of Photosynthesis of Sphagnum spp. Distributed in the Warm-Temperate and the Cool-Temperate Mires of Japan. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2, 716-725.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.