Early and late adjustments of the photosynthetic traits and stomatal density in Quercus ilex L. grown in an ozone-enriched environment

TitleEarly and late adjustments of the photosynthetic traits and stomatal density in Quercus ilex L. grown in an ozone-enriched environment
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFusaro, L., Gerosa G., Salvatori E., Marzuoli R., Monga R., Kuzminsky E., Angelaccio C., Quarato D., and Fares S.
JournalPlant Biology
Keywordsassimilation efficiency, Charcoal, drug effects, ecophysiology, environment, Environmental stress, Evapotranspiration, evergreen tree, leaf, oak, open-top chamber, oxidation, Oxidative stress, Ozone, photosynthesis, physiological response, physiology, plant leaf, Plant leaves, plant stoma, Plant Stomata, Plant Transpiration, Quercus, Quercus ilex, reproducibility, Reproducibility of Results, respiration, season, Seasons, Seedling, Seedlings, Stomatal conductance

Quercus ilex L. seedlings were exposed in open-top chambers for one growing season to three levels of ozone (O3): charcoal filtered air, non-filtered air supplemented with +30% or +74% ambient air O3. Key functional parameters related to photosynthetic performance and stomatal density were measured to evaluate the response mechanisms of Q. ilex to chronic O3 exposure, clarifying how ecophysiological traits are modulated during the season in an ozone-enriched environment. Dark respiration showed an early response to O3 exposure, increasing approximately 45% relative to charcoal-filtered air in both O3 enriched treatments. However, at the end of the growing season, maximum rate of assimilation (Amax) and stomatal conductance (gs) showed a decline (-13% and -36%, for Amax and gs, respectively) only in plants under higher O3 levels. Photosystem I functionality supported the capacity of Q. ilex to cope with oxidative stress by adjusting the energy flow partitioning inside the photosystems. The response to O3 was also characterised by increased stomatal density in both O3 enriched treatments relative to controls. Our results suggest that in order to improve the reliability of metrics for O3 risk assessment, the seasonal changes in the response of gs and photosynthetic machinery to O3 stress should be considered. © 2016 German Botanical Society and Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.


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