Intraspecific variability in responses to temperature and shade was studied at Champenoux, north-eastern France, with seedlings from five Polish provenances of silver fir ( Abies alba Mill.). Acclimation of photosynthesis to temperature was investigated in seedlings exposed to 10, 25 and 35°C in a climate chamber for 1 week. During two growth seasons, a population of seedlings was grown in the nursery under four different irradiance regimens: 100, 48, 18 and 8% of natural irradiance. Maximum carboxylation rate ( V cmax ), maximum light driven electron flow ( J max ) and maximum net carbon dioxide assimilation rate ( A max ) measured at 25°C increased with population altitude. One week of exposure to 35°C caused discoloration and massive needle shedding. After 2 years' acclimation to different levels of irradiance, a significant interprovenance variability was evidenced in growth, total biomass, biomass allocation and photosynthetic performance. This study provided evidence for the existence of functional variation among the examined provenances.
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