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Revista Brasileira de Fisiologia Vegetal

Print version ISSN 0103-3131


GONCALVES, JOSÉ FRANCISCO DE CARVALHO; MARENCO, RICARDO ANTONIO  and  VIEIRA, GIL. Concentration of photosynthetic pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence of mahogany and tonka bean under two light environments. Rev. Bras. Fisiol. Veg. [online]. 2001, vol.13, n.2, pp.149-157. ISSN 0103-3131.

This study was carried out in a plantation of a degraded area in Central Amazon, Brazil, in order to assess environmental light effects on leaf pigment concentrations and chlorophyll a fluorescence in mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) and tonka bean (Dipteryx odorata Aubl. Willd). Three-year old saplings were grown in an open site (sun) with maximum radiation of approximately 2000 mmol m-2 s-1 and under the shade of a Ochroma pyramidale (Cav. ex Lam. Urb) canopy. A leaf area index of 2.46 was optically determined for the Ochroma foliage with 13% of full sunlight (maximum radiation about 260 mmol m-2 s-1). Carotenoid and chlorophyll concentrations were spectrophotometrically determined. Initial (Fo), maximum (Fm) and variable fluorescence (Fv) were determined with a portable fluorometer. Chlorophyll concentrations (Chl a, Chl b and Chl tot) on a fresh mass basis were greater in shade leaves than in sun acclimated leaves in both species. On the other hand, when comparisons were made on a per area basis, Chl a concentrations were greater in the sun than in shade leaves of tonka bean. In contrast, Chl b concentrations were higher in the shade environment for this species. No differences were observed in Chl concentrations per unit area in mahogany leaves. Carotenoid concentrations were higher for sun-acclimated leaves of mahogany, both on a per unit area and on a fresh mass basis. In tonka bean, higher carotenoid concentrations in shade leaves were only observed on a fresh weight basis. No differences were found between environments when carotenoid concentrations were expressed as a function of leaf area. Fluorescence variables (Fo, Fm, and Fv) were greater in sun leaves than in shade leaves of mahogany. In contrast, Fv and Fm, but not Fo, values were higher in shade acclimated leaves than in full sunlight-adapted leaves of tonka bean. However, there was a higher Fv/Fm ratio value for tonka bean in sunlight environments. We conclude that these species, classified as mid and late successional species, differ markedly regarding the utilization of photosynthetic pigments, increasing either light harvesting efficiency at low irradiance or protection against photosynthetic machinery damage in higher solar radiation environments.

Keywords : Carotenoid; Dipteryx odorata; Swietenia macrophylla; tropical species.

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