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Mesophyll conductance limitation of photosynthesis in poplar under elevated ozone

Journal article
Authors Yansen Xu
Z. Z. Feng
B. Shang
L. L. Dai
Johan Uddling
Lasse Tarvainen
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Volume 657
Pages 136-145
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 136-145
Language en
Keywords Carboxylation, Mesophyll conductance, Ozone, Poplar, Photosynthesis, Stomatal conductance, temperature response functions, net primary productivity, diffusion, conductance, tropospheric ozone, chlorophyll fluorescence, specificity, factor, isoprene emission, co2 assimilation, norway spruce, gas-exchange, Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Finite mesophyll conductance (g(m)) reduces the rate of CO2 diffusion from the leaf intercellular space to the chloroplast and constitutes a major limitation of photosynthesis in trees. While it is well established that g(m) is decreased by stressors such as drought and high temperature, few studies have investigated if the phytotoxic air pollutant ozone (O-3) affects g(m). We quantified the relative importance of three different types of limitations of photosynthesis in poplar trees exposed to elevated O-3: decreases in stomatal conductance, g(m) and biochemical photosynthetic capacity. The O-3-induced reductions in light-saturated net photosynthesis were linked to significant declines in g(m) and biochemical photosynthetic capacity (in particular carboxylation). There was no significant effect of O-3 on stomatal conductance. Of the O-3-induced limitations on photosynthesis, g(m) limitation was by far the most important (-16%) while biochemical limitation (-8%) was rather small. Both limitations grew in magnitude over the study period and varied in response to leaf-specific O-3 exposure. Our findings suggest that declines in g(m) may play a key role in limiting photosynthesis of plants exposed to elevated O-3, an effect hitherto overlooked. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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