A field study of photosynthetic temperature acclimation in Carex eleocharis Bailey

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3 Scopus citations


Abstract. Seasonal patterns in photosynthetic temperature acclimation and growth were investigated in the sedge, Carex eleocharis Bailey, a species which has demonstrated a marked capacity for shifts in the photosynthetic temperature optimum in previous growth chamber studies. The seasonal production of new leaves was 90% complete by the earliest study date, June 3. Shifts in the photosynthetic temperature optimum of 10°C (from 15 to 25°C) were observed during the months of June and July. These results indicate that in situ acclimatory adjustments in C. eleocharis occur in existing leaf tissue, rather than new leaves which are produced as the season progresses. Despite the 10°C increase in the temperature optimum, mean mid‐day leaf temperatures were higher than the optimum throughout the summer. A broad temperature response appeared to be more important than the acclimation adjustments in maintaining near‐maximum photosynthesis rates during the mid‐day period. Seasonal shifts in the photosynthetic temperature optimum were not as great as those previously observed in growth chamber studies. This discrepancy arises because of the capacity for growth chamber grown plants to produce new leaves with temperature response characteristics closely tuned to the growth temperature regime. In field‐grown plants the production of 90% of the leaves during the cool portion of the season places limitations on the potential for acclimation to the warmer midsummer temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1984


  • Carex eleocharis
  • Colorado shortgrass steppe
  • photosynthesis
  • seasonal growth
  • sedge
  • temperature acclimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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