Comparative photochemical and phenomorphological responses to winter stress of an evergreen (Quercus ilex L.) and a semi-deciduous (Cistus albidus L.) Mediterranean woody species

Graça Oliveira, Josep Peñuelas

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    64 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The impact of winter stress on plants from a Mediterranean area was evaluated through comparison of photosystem II (PS II) efficiencies and phenomorphological characteristics of two Mediterranean woody species - Quereus ilex (evergreen) and Cistus albidus (semi-deciduous). The studies were carried out in NE Spain, at two sites with different mean winter temperatures. The results showed that reductions of the efficiency of PS II may occur in Mediterranean plant communities during winter, and are especially remarkable on colder days. The extent and duration of the decrease in PS II efficiency (photoinhibition) depended not only on the climatic conditions, but also on the site, on the species considered and on the position of leaves in the plant canopy. Increased photoinhibition at the colder site was only clear for C. albidus. Nevertheless, the efficiencies of PS II were always higher in C. albidus than in Q. ilex. Phenological patterns, morphology and leaf inclination may protect C. albidus leaves from potentially photoinhibitory conditions in winter. Morphological and structural photoprotection is apparently not so well developed in Q. ilex, which probably relies more on increased protection at the photochemical level of its long-lived leaves. As has been reported in relation to summer-drought stress, Q. ilex has possibly developed a strategy of tolerance to photoinhibition, whereas C. albidus relies preferentially on avoidance features. (C) 2000 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-107
    JournalActa Oecologica
    Volume21
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

    Keywords

    • Chlorophyll fluorescence
    • Evergreens
    • Leaf characteristics
    • Mediterranean winter
    • Phenology
    • Photoinhibition
    • Semi-deciduous

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