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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Photosynthetic responses of understory savanna plants: Implications for plant persistence in savannas under tree encroachment

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Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo [1] ; de Araujo, Paola Eduarda [1] ; Porfirio da Silva, Bianca Helena [1] ; Franco, Augusto Cesar [2]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Estadual Paulista, Dept Biol, Fac Ciencias Agr & Vet, UNESP Campus Jaboticabal, BR-14884900 Jaboticabal, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Brasilia, Inst Ciencias Biol, Dept Bot, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, BR-70910900 Brasilia, DF - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: FLORA; v. 240, p. 34-39, MAR 2018.
Web of Science Citations: 1

Savannas are ecosystems where plants are expected to have leaf-level adaptations conferring tolerance to high irradiances, which characterizes this type of open canopy vegetation. The neotropical savannas of Brazil (Cerrado) harbour a large diversity of heliophilous herbaceous species, which are threatened by the current invasion of those open canopy habitats by forest trees, increasing tree density and canopy cover, thereby strongly reducing light availability. In this study, we measured leaf pigment concentrations, specific leaf area and light response curves of photosynthesis to determine whether herbaceous species of open savanna habitats were less tolerant to shade than the ones that were more characteristic of forested savanna. Relative to species of forested savannas, herbaceous species of open savannas had heavier leaves with higher concentration of carotenoids. They also achieved higher photosynthetic rates, reaching light compensation and saturation at higher irradiances. Based on measurements of light compensation points and of prevailing irradiances in forested savannas, leaves of most herbaceous species of more open savannas would be strongly light-limited in sites with a dense woody layer. In summary, we provide evidence that forest tree encroachment of savannas would select for leaf trait combinations in the understory vegetation that would favor shade tolerance and, depending on the degree of leaf acclimatization to shade of individual species, could strongly constrain persistence of the current understory vegetation. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/18049-6 - The diversity of ecophysiological strategies in a Cerrado herbaceous communities: a case study involving distinct environmental constraints
Grantee:Davi Rodrigo Rossatto
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Young Investigators Grants
FAPESP's process: 15/21857-2 - Chlorophyll and carotenoid traits and their relationship with foliar morphophysiological parameters of typical Cerrado and denser Cerrado species
Grantee:Bianca Helena Porfírio da Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation