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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jerry Barnes
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Acclimation to elevated CO2 was investigated in Parmelia caperata originating from the vicinity of a natural CO2 spring, where the average daytime CO2 concentration was 729 ± 39 μmol mol-1 dry air. Thalli showed no evidence of a down-regulation in photosynthetic capacity following long-term exposure to CO2 enrichment in the field; carboxylation efficiency, total Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) content, apparent quantum yield of CO2 assimilation, and the light-saturated rate of CO2 assimilation (measured under ambient and saturating CO2 concentrations) were similar in thalli from the naturally CO2 enriched site and an adjacent control site where the average long-term CO2 concentration was about 355 μmol mol-1. Thalli from both CO2 environments exhibited low CO2 compensation points and early saturation of CO2 uptake kinetics in response to increasing external CO2 concentrations, suggesting the presence of an active carbon-concentrating mechanism. Consistent with the lack of significant effects on photosynthetic metabolism, no changes were found in the nitrogen content of thalli following prolonged exposure to elevated CO2. Detailed intrathalline analysis revealed a decreased investment of nitrogen in Rubisco in the pyrenoid of algae located in the elongation zone of thalli originating from elevated CO2, an effect associated with a reduction in the percentage of the cell volume occupied by lipid bodies and starch grains. Although these differences did not affect the photosynthetic capacity of thalli, there was evidence of enhanced limitations to CO2 assimilation in lichens originating from the CO2-enriched site. The light-saturated rate of CO2 assimilation measured at the average growth CO2 concentration was found to be significantly lower in thalli originating from a CO2-enriched atmosphere compared with that of thalli originating and measured at ambient CO2. At lower photosynthetic photon flux densities, the light compensation point of net CO2 assimilation was significantly higher in thalli originating from elevated CO2, and this effect was associated with higher usnic acid content.
Author(s): Balaguer L, Manrique E, De Los Rios A, Ascaso C, Palmqvist K, Fordham M, Barnes JD
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Print publication date: 01/05/1999
ISSN (print): 0029-8549
ISSN (electronic): 1432-1939
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