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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


MACHADO, Eduardo Caruso; MEDINA, Camilo Lázaro; GOMES, Mara de Menezes de Assis  and  HABERMANN, Gustavo. Seasonal variation of photosynthetic rates, stomatal conductance and leaf water potential in 'Valencia' orange trees. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.1, pp.53-58. ISSN 1678-992X.

Seasonal variation in environmental conditions may influence gas exchange rates as well as water relations in perennial species. This work was carried out to evaluate photosynthetic rates (A), transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (g) and leaf water potential (Y f ) in 'Valencia' orange trees grafted on four different rootstocks. Measurements were made twice a day: from 9h00 to 11h00 a.m. and from 1h00 to 3h00 p.m., during January, March and July. A and g were significantly lower and Yf was significantly more negative, in the afternoon. The decrease in A may be related to the reduction in g, due to the increase in the vapor pressure deficit between the air and the leaf (VPDair-leaf ) in the afternoon, when temperatures are higher. In spite of the partial stomatal closure in the afternoon, the values for E were approximately the same as those measured in the morning, due to the increase in the VPDair-leaf . A decrease in A and g could also be noted from January to July, that is, from the hot and humid summer months, to the colder and drier winter ones. It was suggested that the decrease in A and g observed from January through March, may be related to the decrease in plant growth rates, which could have influenced the source-sink relationships, since the climatic conditions for both months were similar. The decrease in A and g showed in July, seems to be related to the decrease in both the night temperature and the growth rate of plants.

Keywords : Citrus sinensis; growth; gas exchange; transpiration.

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