Seasonal variation in gas exchange by plants of Erythroxylum simonis Plowman

João Everthon da Silva Ribeiro Ana Jéssica Soares Barbosa Sérgio de Faria Lopes Walter Esfrain Pereira Manoel Bandeira de Albuquerque About the authors

ABSTRACT

Erythroxylum simonisis an understory species found in Northeast Brazil. Due to its shaded habitat,E. simonisis subjected to seasonal oscillations of the environment, to which it must respond ecophysiologically. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of seasonality on the ecophysiology ofE. simonis in a fragment of Seasonal Semideciduous Forest. Leaf area index, visible sky fraction and photosynthetically active radiation were measured for 10 individuals during the dry and rainy seasons. Soil moisture, temperature and monthly precipitation were measured, as well as photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, internal CO2concentration, transpiration, instantaneous water use efficiency, instantaneous carboxylation efficiency and chlorophyll content. Ecophysiological variables were correlated with environmental variables, with a greater association of rainfall and soil moisture with stomatal conductance, transpiration and photosynthetic rate, indicating that water availability has an effect on the ecophysiology ofE. simonis. With the exception of instantaneous carboxylation efficiency, gas exchange exhibited significant differences among the months studied, with the highest values being for months with greater water availability, thus showing that the ecophysiology of the species responds to seasonal changes throughout the year.

Keywords:
responses; photosynthetic rate; seasonal changes; Seasonal Semideciduous Forest; understory

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