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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Rice, Steven K. [1], Neal, Nathali [1], Mango, Jesse [1].

Relationships between shoot traits and photosynthetic characteristics in the feathermoss Pleurozium schreberi.

Feathermosses contribute significantly to carbon exchange in boreal forest ecosystems, yet little is known about how intrinsic features of their shoot systems affect their function. In the widespread moss Pleurozium schreberi, light saturated rates of net photosynthesis (Amax per ground area) are known to vary by at least a factor of two; however, little is known about the causes of this variation. To understand better the relationship between shoot biochemical and structural traits and variation in Amax, we measured plant attributes in 26 samples collected from northern New York State. Samples were returned to the lab, watered, and acclimated in a growth room for four days. Shoot mass and shoot area per ground area, surface roughness, shoot height, the light extinction coefficient within the shoot system and N, chlorophyll (a+b) and carotenoid concentrations were measured. Amax was assessed at light saturation and at optimal water content. Amax varied over four fold and associated positively with traits that related to shoot mass concentration, including N, chlorophyll, and carotenoid concentration expressed on a ground area basis (R2>0.26, p<0.01). Amax showed no association with plant water content indicating that at optimal water contents, variation in external water films does not affect CO2 uptake. A multiple regression model using carotenoid concentration and the light extinction coefficient explained 59% of variation in Amax, suggesting the opportunity to develop robust models to predict carbon dynamics in the field.

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1 - Union College, Department of Biology, Schenectady, New York, 12308, USA

bryophyte photosynthesis
carbon flux
functional traits
surface roughness.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 41
Location: Superior B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 41001
Abstract ID:475