Print version ISSN 0100-6762
CAMARGO, Miguel Angelo Branco and MARENCO, Ricardo Antonio. Growth, leaf and stomatal traits of crabwood (Carapa guianensis Aubl.) in central Amazonia. Rev. Árvore [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.1, pp. 07-16. ISSN 0100-6762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-67622012000100002.
Crabwood (Carapa guianensis Aubl.) is a fast growing tree species with many uses among Amazonian local communities. The main objective of this study was to assess the effect of seasonal rainfall pattern on growth rates, and seasonal and diurnal changes in leaf gas exchange and leaf water potential (ΨL) in crabwood. To assess the effect of rainfall seasonality on growth and physiological leaf traits an experiment was conducted in Manaus, AM (03º 05' 30" S, 59º 59' 35" S). In this experiment, six 6-m tall plants were used to assess photosynthetic traits and ΨL. In a second experiment the effect of growth irradiance on stomatal density (SD), size (SS) and leaf thickness was assessed in 0.8-m tall saplings. Stomatal conductance (gs) and light-saturated photosynthesis (Amax) were higher in the wet season, and between 09:00 and 15:00 h. However, no effect of rainfall seasonality was found on ΨL and potential photosynthesis (CO2-saturated). ΨL declined from -0.3 MPa early in the morning to -0.75 MPa after midday. It increased in the afternoon but did not reach full recovery at sunset. Growth rates of crabwood were high, and similar in both seasons (2 mm month-1). Leaf thickness and SD were 19% and 47% higher in sun than in shade plants, whereas the opposite was true for SS. We conclude that ΨL greatly affects carbon assimilation of crabwood by reducing gs at noon, although this effect is not reflected on growth rates indicating that other factors offset the effect of gs on Amax.
Keywords : Photosynthesis; Stomatal density; Crabwood and Amazonia.