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Water Stress, Temperature, and Light Effects on the Capacity for Isoprene Emission and Photosynthesis of Kudzu Leaves

Thomas D. Sharkey and Francesco Loreto
Oecologia
Vol. 95, No. 3 (1993), pp. 328-333
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4220447
Page Count: 6
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Water Stress, Temperature, and Light Effects on the Capacity for Isoprene Emission and Photosynthesis of Kudzu Leaves
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Abstract

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata (Willd) Ohwi.) is a vine which forms large, monospecific stands in disturbed areas of the southeastern United States. Kudzu also emits isoprene, a hydrocarbon which can significantly affect atmospheric chemistry including reactions leading to tropospheric ozone. We have studied physiological aspects of isoprene emission from kudzu so the ecological consequences of isoprene emission can be better understood. We examined: (a) the development of isoprene emission as leaves developed, (b) the interaction between photon flux density and temperature effects on isoprene emission, (c) isoprene emission during and after water stress and (d) the induction of isoprene emission from leaves grown at low temperature by water stress or elevated temperature. Isoprene emission under standard conditions of 1000 μmol $\text{photons}\cdot \text{m}^{-2}\cdot \text{s}^{-1}$ and 30° C developed only after the leaf had reached full expansion, and was not complete until up to two weeks past the point of full expansion of the leaf. The effect of temperature on isoprene emission was much greater than found for other species, with a 10° C increase in temperature causing a eight-fold increase in the rate of isoprene emission. Isoprene emission from kudzu was stimulated by increases in photon flux density up to 3000 μmol $\text{photons}\cdot \text{m}^{-2}\cdot \text{s}^{-1}$. In contrast, photosynthesis of kudzu was saturated at less than 1000 μ mol· m-2· s-1 photon flux density and was reduced at high temperature, so that up to 20% of the carbon fixed in photosynthesis was reemitted as isoprene gas at 1000 μmol $\text{photons}\cdot \text{m}^{-2}\cdot \text{s}^{-1}$ and 35° C. Withholding water caused photosynthesis to decline nearly to zero after several days but had a much smaller effect on isoprene emission. Following the relief of water stress, photosynthesis recovered to the prestress level but isoprene emission increased to about five times the prestress rate. At 1000 μmol $\text{photons}\cdot \text{m}^{-2}\cdot \text{s}^{-1}$ and 35° C as much as 67% of the carbon fixed in photosynthesis was reemitted as isoprene eight days after water stress. Leaves grown at less than 20° C did not make isoprene until an inductive treatment was given. Inductive treatments included growth at 24° C, leaf temperature of 30° C for 5 h, or withholding water from plants. With the new information on temperature and water stress effects on isoprene emission, we speculate that isoprene emission may help plants cope with stressful conditions.

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