Results 1 - 1 of 1
Results 1 - 1 of 1. Search took: 0.04 seconds
[en] Canopies in evergreen coniferous plantations often consist of various-aged needles. However, the effect of needle age on the photosynthetic responses to thinning remains ambiguous. Photosynthetic responses of different-aged needles to thinning were investigated in a Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantation. A dual isotope approach [simultaneous measurements of stable carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) isotopes] was employed to distinguish between biochemical and stomatal limitations to photosynthesis. Our results showed that increases in net photosynthesis rates upon thinning only occurred in the current-year and one-year-old needles, and not in the two- to four-year-old needles. The increased δ13C and declined δ18O in current year needles of trees from thinned stands indicated that both the photosynthetic capacity and stomatal conductance resulted in increasing photosynthesis. In one-year-old needles of trees from thinned stands, an increased needle δ13C and a constant needle δ18O were observed, indicating the photosynthetic capacity rather than stomatal conductance contributed to the increasing photosynthesis. The higher water-soluble nitrogen content in current-year and one-year-old needles in thinned trees also supported that the photosynthetic capacity plays an important role in the enhancement of photosynthesis. In contrast, the δ13C, δ18O and water-soluble nitrogen in the two- to four-year-old needles were not significantly different between the control and thinned trees. Thus, the thinning effect on photosynthesis depends on needle age in a Chinese fir plantation. Our results highlight that the different responses of different-aged needles to thinning have to be taken into account for understanding and modelling ecosystem responses to management, especially under the expected environmental changes in future. - Highlights: • Increase of photosynthesis upon thinning only occurred in two youngest needles. • Thinning increased δ13C and declined δ18O in current year needles. • Thinning resulted in an increased δ13C and a constant δ18O in 1-year-old needles. • Thinning had no effect on net photosynthesis, δ13C and δ18O in old needles. • Increases of water-soluble N and photosynthesis upon thinning were paralleled.