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Effects of leaf, shoot and fruit development on photosynthesis of lychee trees (Litchi chinensis)

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Hieke, S., Menzel, C. M. and Lüdders, P. (2002) Effects of leaf, shoot and fruit development on photosynthesis of lychee trees (Litchi chinensis). Tree Physiology, 22 (13). pp. 955-961. ISSN 0829-318X


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/22.13.955


Changes in gas exchange with leaf age and fruit growth were determined in lychee trees (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) growing in subtropical Queensland (27° S). Leaves expanded in a sigmoid pattern over 50 days during spring, with net CO2 assimilation (A) increasing from –4.1 ± 0.9 to 8.3 ± 0.5 μmol m−2 s−1 as the leaves changed from soft and red, to soft and light green, to hard and dark green. Over the same period, dark respiration (Rd) decreased from 5.0 ± 0.8 to 2.0 ± 0.1 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1. Net CO2 assimilation was above zero about 30 days after leaf emergence or when the leaves were half fully expanded. Chlorophyll concentrations increased from 0.7 ± 0.2 mg g−1 in young red leaves to 10.3 ± 0.7 mg g−1 in dark green leaves, along with stomatal conductance (gs, from 0.16 ± 0.09 to 0.47 ± 0.17 mol H2O m−2 s−1).Fruit growth was sigmoidal, with maximum values of fresh mass (29 g), dry mass (6 g) and fruit surface area (39 cm2) occurring 97 to 115 days after fruit set. Fruit CO2 exchange in the light (Rl) and dark (Rd) decreased from fruit set to fruit maturity, whether expressed on a surface area (10 to 3 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 and 20 to 3 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1, respectively) or on a dry mass basis (24 to 2 nmol CO2 g−1 s−1 and 33 to 2 nmol CO2 g−1 s−1, respectively). Photosynthesis never exceeded respiration, however, the difference between Rl and Rd was greatest in young green fruit (4 to 8 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1). About 90% of the carbon required for fruit growth was accounted for in the dry matter of the fruit, with the remainder required for respiration. Fruit photosynthesis contributed about 3% of the total carbon requirement of the fruit over the season. Fruit growth was mainly dependent on CO2 assimilation in recently expanded dark green leaves.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:Open access PDF attached
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Tree crops
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Horticulture. Horticultural crops
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Live Archive:29 Sep 2020 06:25
Last Modified:11 May 2022 02:20

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