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Response of Leaf Anatomy and Photosynthetic Capacity in Alocasia macrorrhiza (Araceae) to a Transfer from Low to High Light

Daniel A. Sims and Robert W. Pearcy
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 79, No. 4 (Apr., 1992), pp. 449-455
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445158
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Response of Leaf Anatomy and Photosynthetic Capacity in Alocasia macrorrhiza (Araceae) to a Transfer from Low to High Light
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Abstract

Alocasia macrorrhiza plants were grown in 1% and 20% full sunlight, and their leaf anatomical and physiological parameters were measured. Total leaf thickness was 41% greater and mesophyll thickness was 52% greater in high-light leaves than in low-light leaves. This increase in thickness resulted from both increased cell size and number. Maximum leaf photosynthetic capacity was also 66% greater in high- than in low-light leaves. When low-light plants were transferred to high light, the thickness of mature leaves did not increase but the thickness of the first leaf to expand after the transfer was significantly greater than that of the low-light leaves. Thus, only leaves that were still expanding at the time of transfer developed leaf thickness greater than plants remaining in low light. Fully mature leaves showed no change in photosynthetic capacity in response to transfer. Leaves that had just completed expansion at the time of low- to high-light transfer were able to develop slightly higher maximum photosynthetic capacities than older leaves. However, full photosynthetic acclimation to the new light environment did not occur until the second new leaf expanded after transfer. These results are discussed in relation to the timing and mechanisms of whole plant acclimation to increased light.

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