Navigation Links
Trees adapt to poor levels of sunlight to effectively process carbon, study shows
Date:11/15/2011

In Europe forests appear evergreen even in the cloudiest conditions, while the lush interiors of Asian jungles are typically overshadowed by a dense canopy. The ability of trees to adapt to light conditions, and even increase their intake of carbon for photosynthesis in poor light, has been explored by Czech researchers and published in the British Ecological Society's Functional Ecology.

The research centers around the impact of cloud cover on photosynthesis, the process through which plants and trees take in carbon and utilise the solar energy to produce oxygen, a process which is dependent on sunlight. The sun's energy reaches the earth's surface directly, or it can be diffused through the atmosphere by factors including cloud cover.

"Cloud cover has a direct impact on ecosystems by influencing temperature and light, so the conditions of the sky are just as important to photosynthesis as sunlight itself," said lead author Dr Otmar Urban, from the Global Change Research Centre in Brno, Czech Republic. "Surprisingly however studies show that an increase in cloud cover and the resulting diffusion of light can actually enhance the photosynthesis of forest canopies, but the mechanism behind this has remained unknown."

The idea that greater cloud cover can increase an ecosystem's exchange of carbon through photosynthesis may appear counterintuitive, but Dr Urban's team believe the process is due to the even distribution of light among leaves throughout the many levels of a forest canopy.

To test the theory the team analysed the net carbon intake of a spruce forest in the Beskydy Mountains of the Czech Republic under both cloudy and sunny skies. This was coupled with a study of the leaf chlorophyll within different sections of the canopy to gauge the resulting levels of photosynthesis.

The results showed that the higher diffusion of sunlight during cloudy days did result in a higher uptake of carbon across the ecosystem when compared to the same levels of light on sunny days.

Analysis of tree shoots also revealed that shoots from deep within the canopy contributed substantially to the overall carbon balance of the forest during cloudy days. However the contribution of middle or shaded parts of the canopy was marginal, or even negative, on sunny days. Shoots at the top of the canopy contributed 78% of the total carbon intake during a sunny day, but only 43% during a cloudy day when light was more evenly distributed.

"This research shows that diffuse light, caused by cloud cover, has an important impact on the productivity of vegetation," concluded Urban. "The ability of forests to not only adapt to the levels of light they regularly receive, but make effective use of those conditions, helps us to understand how individual trees can maintain such a high intake of carbon despite being overshadowed by the tops of the canopy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-124-377-0375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Trees on tundras border are growing faster in a hotter climate
2. 400,000 farmers in southern Africa using fertilizer trees to improve food security
3. Restoring forests and planting trees on farms can greatly improve food security
4. Water evaporated from trees cools global climate
5. A 3-D reconstructed image of neural dendritic trees using the advanced electron microscope technology
6. For the love of trees: Book tells all about forest hydrology, biogeochemistry
7. Pacific Northwest trees struggle for water while standing in it
8. Book examines how trees change as they age and grow: What do these clues tell us?
9. Spread of fungus-farming beetles is bad news for trees
10. New research shows forest trees remember their roots
11. Climate change may alter conditions for growth of oak trees in Euskadi
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The global ... landscape is marked by the presence of several large ... held by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC ... accounted for nearly 61% of the global military biometric ... in the global military biometrics market boast global presence, ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of ... performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its 4th ... in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office bearers, ... and government officials from around the world to address key issues in device compliance, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient ... Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. ... among health care professionals to enhance the patient care experience ... and other health care professionals to help women who have ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main ... people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air pollution ... of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I knew ...
Breaking Biology Technology: