Photosynthetic Competition between Forest Trees

Authored by: Piotr Robakowski

Handbook of Photosynthesis

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482230734
eBook ISBN: 9781482230758
Adobe ISBN:


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Plants compete for light, water, and nutrients, all of which are used for photosynthesis. Long-lived trees have withstood the pressure of competitors, which resulted in the occurrence of many morphological and physiological adaptations. They allow trees to capture resources and improve photosynthesis more efficiently than their neighbors. Photosynthetic competition between trees was defined as the ability of a tree to maintain or increase its net CO2 assimilation rate at the expense of a reduction of neighboring-tree photosynthesis. A way to win photosynthetic competition may consist in picking up or lowering availability of resources for neighbors to reduce photo-synthetic capacity of competitors. Thus, the competition for light, water, and nutrients can be regarded as an integral part of photosynthetic competition.

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