Navigation Links
Sun or shade: Pecan leaves' photosynthetic light response evaluated

COLLEGE STATION, TXPecan, the most valuable nut tree native to North America, is native from northern Illinois and southeastern Iowa to the Gulf Coast of the United States, where it grows abundantly along the Mississippi River, the rivers of central and eastern Oklahoma, and Texas. Popularity and consumer demand for pecans has increased the cultivation of pecan trees to other areas, while commercial production has expanded into many regions of the United States and Mexico.

Effective management of the tree canopy is of vital interest to pecan growers. Pecan trees require careful canopy management to avoid self-shading and to maintain productivity. Leaves of pecan trees typically intercept 65% to 70% of available sunlight with up to 95% light interception in overcrowded, unpruned orchards; less light naturally affects photosynthesis. To improve the amount of light penetration, pecan growers commonly use pruning techniques to increase photosynthesis and flowering on trees. To date, however, little information has been available to growers about the change in photosynthesis activity of pecan leaves throughout the growing season.

Leonardo Lombardini, Hermann Restrepo-Diaz, and Astrid Volder of Texas A&M University's Department of Horticultural Sciences published the results of an experiment using pecan tree cultivars in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. According to Lombardini and collaborators, the objective of the experiment was to quantify the effects of differences in light intensity on the "morphological characteristics and seasonal physiological performance of sun and shade leaves of field-grown pecan trees".

The experiment was conducted during the 2007 growing season at Texas A&M University. The cultivars used for the research, 'Pawnee' and 'Stuart', were chosen because of their rank as two of the most important pecan varieties for commercial growers.

Treatments were established according to the leaf type (sun or shade leaves) and cultivar. Sun leaves were growing on exterior portions of the tree canopy and were exposed to full sunlight for most of the day (southern exposure). Shade leaves were growing in interior parts of the tree canopy.

The study revealed that pecan shade leaves exposed to saturating radiation are about half as effective as sun leaves in assimilating CO2. Light saturation points were lower for shade leaves and steadily increased as the season progressed for both leaf types. The research showed that late-season photosynthetic capacity was maintained in shade leaves, whereas it was reduced to about 60% in sun leaves.

The authors noted that the results of the research may explain why pecan trees can tolerate severe hedging-type pruning and still maintain high productivity in areas characterized by relatively high light regions (such as the southwestern United States and east-central Australia). The authors explained that "the reduction of canopy size caused by hedging likely increases the ratio of sun-exposed leaves to shaded leaves, thus boosting carbon gain per unit leaf area".

Especially noteworthy is the autumn assimilation drop in sun leaves, without a corresponding assimilation drop in shade leaves, which the authors call "a significant finding".

This study provides baseline information relevant to improving management of the orchard light environment, and can be used by commercial pecan producers for developing new, effective canopy and crop management practices.


Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. Bird flu leaves the nest -- adapting to a new host
2. Why are autumn leaves red in America and yellow in Europe?
3. The hepatitis healing power of blueberry leaves
4. A win-win: U-pick pumpkin farms recycle urban leaves
5. When leaves fall, more is occurring than a change of weather
6. From Canada to the Caribbean: Tree leaves control their own temperature, Penn study reveals
7. Aquaculture concept leaves judges goggle eyed
8. Why do autumn leaves bother to turn red?
9. Orientation of antenna protein in photosynthetic bacteria described
10. Berkeley researchers identify photosynthetic dimmer switch
11. Researchers decode genetics of rare photosynthetic bacterium
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Sun or shade: Pecan leaves' photosynthetic light response evaluated
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute ... "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for ... Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers ... --> --> Synthetic ... the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- In the present market scenario, security is one ... verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic gadgets, and ... secure & simplified access control and growing rate of ... bank accounts, misuse of users, , and so on. ... and smartphones are expected to provide potential opportunities for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and ... (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue ... following review of the final interim efficacy and ... Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte, ... their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it forward to other ... stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they join other successful ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York on ... Dr. Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. ... communication and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: