Autumn photosynthetic decline and growth cessation in seedlings of white spruce are decoupled under warming and photoperiod manipulations
Stinziano Joseph R.,
Way Danielle A.
plant, cell and environment
Abstract Climate warming is expected to increase the seasonal duration of photosynthetic carbon fixation and tree growth in high‐latitude forests. However, photoperiod, a crucial cue for seasonality, will remain constant, which may constrain tree responses to warming. We investigated the effects of temperature and photoperiod on weekly changes in photosynthetic capacity, leaf biochemistry and growth in seedlings of a boreal evergreen conifer, white spruce [ Picea glauca (Moench) Voss]. Warming delayed autumn declines in photosynthetic capacity, extending the period when seedlings had high carbon uptake. While photoperiod was correlated with photosynthetic capacity, short photoperiods did not constrain the maintenance of high photosynthetic capacity under warming. Rubisco concentration dynamics were affected by temperature but not photoperiod, while leaf pigment concentrations were unaffected by treatments. Respiration rates at 25 °C were stimulated by photoperiod, although respiration at the growth temperatures was increased in warming treatments. Seedling growth was stimulated by increased photoperiod and suppressed by warming. We demonstrate that temperature is a stronger control on the seasonal timing of photosynthetic down‐regulation than is photoperiod. Thus, while warming can stimulate carbon uptake in boreal conifers, the extra carbon may be directed towards respiration rather than biomass, potentially limiting carbon sequestration under climate change.
Subject(s)acclimatization , agronomy , biology , biomass (ecology) , botany , ecophysiology , evergreen , horticulture , photoperiodism , photosynthesis , photosynthetic capacity , respiration
SCImago Journal Rank2.646
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