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Photosynthetic quantum efficiency in south-eastern Amazonian trees may be already affected by climate change.

  • Tiwari, Rakesh1
  • Gloor, Emanuel1
  • da Cruz, Wesley Jonatar A2
  • Schwantes Marimon, Beatriz2
  • Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur2
  • Reis, Simone M2
  • de Souza, Igor Araújo2
  • Krause, Heinrich G3, 4
  • Slot, Martijn3
  • Winter, Klaus3
  • Ashley, David1
  • Béu, Raiane G2
  • Borges, Camila S2
  • Da Cunha, Maura5
  • Fauset, Sophie6
  • Ferreira, Laura D S2
  • Gonçalves, Maélly Dállet A2
  • Lopes, Thaynara T2
  • Marques, Eduardo Q2
  • Mendonça, Natalia G2
  • And 14 more
  • 1 School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
  • 2 Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso, Laboratório de Ecologia Vegetal, Nova Xavantina, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 3 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama. , (Panama)
  • 4 Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 5 Laboratório de Biologia Celular e Tecidual, Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos Dos Goytacazes, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 6 Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.
  • 7 Laboratório de Ciências Ambientais, Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos Dos Goytacazes, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 8 Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
  • 9 School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Published Article
Plant Cell & Environment
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1111/pce.13770
PMID: 32339294


Tropical forests are experiencing unprecedented high-temperature conditions due to climate change that could limit their photosynthetic functions. We studied the high-temperature sensitivity of photosynthesis in a rainforest site in southern Amazonia, where some of the highest temperatures and most rapid warming in the Tropics have been recorded. The quantum yield (Fv /Fm ) of photosystem II was measured in seven dominant tree species using leaf discs exposed to varying levels of heat stress. T50 was calculated as the temperature at which Fv /Fm was half the maximum value. T5 is defined as the breakpoint temperature, at which Fv /Fm decline was initiated. Leaf thermotolerance in the rapidly warming southern Amazonia was the highest recorded for forest tree species globally. T50 and T5 varied between species, with one mid-storey species, Amaioua guianensis, exhibiting particularly high T50 and T5 values. While the T50 values of the species sampled were several degrees above the maximum air temperatures experienced in southern Amazonia, the T5 values of several species are now exceeded under present-day maximum air temperatures. © 2020 The Authors. Plant, Cell & Environment published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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