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Abstract Detail


Matthews, Bonnie [1], Ryser, Peter [2].

Inter-specific differences in area-based photosynthetic rates among herbaceous wetland species, and the relationship with the speciesí biomass turnover strategy.

A plantís photosynthetic rate and other leaf characteristics such as their structure and life span have been adapted to increase the plantís fitness in its environment. These adaptations are, however, constrained by trade-offs between the traits. One of the most important trade-offs in this respect is, according to current literature, between photosynthetic rate and leaf life span. In relation to this trade-off, however, the literature focuses on mass-based photosynthetic rates, while largely ignoring the weakness of evidence for this trade-off if area-based measurements are considered. But as photosynthetic rates are generally high in plants exposed to full sun, it raises the question why long-lived leaves of species of sun-exposed habitats wouldnít have high area-based photosynthetic rates if they were provided with adequate nutrients. To test this we used 12 different graminoid wetland species of northeastern Ontario, Canada, from habitats that differed in nutrient and disturbance regimes and grew them in semi-controlled conditions in an experimental garden to test the relationship between their area-based photosynthetic rates and biomass turnover. Our data clearly indicates that area-based photosynthetic rates are not constrained by leaf longevity in plants that are adapted to well illuminated environments.

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1 - Laurentian University, Biology, 935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6, Canada
2 - Laurentian University, Department of Biology, Ramsey Lake Rd, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6, Canada

leaf lifespan
turnover rate
area-based photosynthetic rate
comparative plant ecology
photosynthetic rate.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PEP002
Abstract ID:548

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