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Adaptation of Acacia koa Leaves and Phyllodes to Changes in Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density

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Koa (Acacia koa Gray) seedlings were grown under full sunlight (HH treatment) and under 27% of full sunlight (LL treatment). Some of these seedlings were moved to the opposite light intensity to form two additional treatments--HL and LH. Phyllodes developed only on seedlings in the HH treatment. If seedlings with phyllodes were placed under shade, leaves instead of phyllodes developed at the terminal. Leaflets of leaves in the HH treatment were smaller but thicker and had lower specific leaf areas than those in the LL treatment. Koa leaves in the HH and LL treatments had similar photosynthetic characteristics. Leaves in the HH treatment had higher ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase levels and lower chlorophyll levels than leaves in the LL treatment. When seedlings were moved to the opposite light intensity, leaves and phyllodes adapted both morphologically and physiologically to the altered photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Leaves and phyllodes that were only partially developed when the PPFD changed showed greater adaptive potential than those that were fully developed. Generally, leaves and phyllodes adapted by developing morphological and physiological characteristics of those grown continuously in the new PPFD. There were no detectable deleterious affects to exposing leaves or phyllodes to increased or decreased PPFDs For. Sci. 36(4):1050-1060
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Keywords: CO2-exchange rate; chlorophyll; dark respiration; ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase; total soluble protein

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI

Publication date: 01 December 1990

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