Smith, A. Peyton , Goodale, Uromi Manage , Berlyn, Graeme .
Chemical acclimation of pioneer species to changes in light environment.
We investigated acclimation responses in the foliar chemistry of six different Sri Lankan pioneer tree species to changes in light environments. Pioneer species, Macaranga peltata, Macaranga indica, Dillenia triquetra, Schumachaeria castaneifolia, Trema orientalis and Wendlandia bicuspidata, were grown in environmental shelters designed to replicate various light environments representing understory light conditions to large canopy openings. Following six months growth plants were shifted to a higher or lower light level to assess their acclimation ability. The leaves of these experimental species were then analyzed for nutrient concentrations with an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometer and a carbon-hydrogen-nitrogen analyzer. Plants that were switched to higher light conditions showed decreased nutrient concentration levels for all species. In most species, when plants were switched from highlight conditions to lowlight conditions foliar nutrient concentrations increased. The light demanding pioneer species showed a greater stability in their foliar nutrient values in response to the changes to the changes in the environmental conditions compared to the more shade tolerant species. These results were highly correlated with relative chlorophyll content of the leaves. This suggests that the ability to adapt foliar nutrient chemistry in response to environmental changes may depend on the shade tolerance characteristics of the individual species.
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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 205 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
2 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Greeley Memorial Laboratory, 370 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 8:15 AM