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Seasonal Variation of 13C of Four Tree Species: A Biological Integrator of Environmental Variables

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Abstract:

Foliar 13C values, an indicator of long-term intercellular carbon dioxide concentration and, thus, of long-term water use efficiency (WUE) in plants, were measured for Pinus massoniana Lamb., P. elliottii Engelm., Cunninghamia laceolata (Lamb.) Hook., and Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. in a restored forest ecosystem in the Jiazhu River Basin. Seasonal variation and the relationship between the foliar 13C values of the four species and environmental factors (monthly total precipitation, monthly average air temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, and monthly total solar radiation and evaporation) were investigated. The monthly 13C values and WUE of the four species increased with increasing precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, and evaporation, whereas 13C values of the four species decreased with increasing relative humidity and atmospheric pressure. Despite significant differences in 13C seasonal means for the four species, our results demonstrate a significant convergence in the responses of 13C values and WUE to seasonal variations in environmental factors among the species investigated and that the 13C signature for each species gives a strong indication of environmental variables.

(Managing editor: Ping HE)
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Keywords: Cunninghamia laceolata; Pinus elliottii; Pinus massoniana; Schima superba; water use efficiency (WUE); 13C

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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