Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Regulación de pigmentos fotosintéticos en el sotobosque tropical y en los claros del bosque


Maiken Westphal



Download Full Text (168 KB)

Publication Date

November 2008


A plant can manipulate its absolute and relative amounts of photosynthetic pigments in different light environments (Hopkins, 1995, Goncalves and Vieira, 2001). Leaf samples from ten gap and ten understory plants were collected from Calyptrogyne brachystachys (Arecaceae), Heliconia monteverdensis (Heliconiaceae), and Piper ariteum (Piperaceae), and their chlorophylls a, b, and carotenoid concentrations were found. The total concentration of chlorophylls a, b, total chlorophyll and carotenoids were significantly higher (p = <0.05) in the understory leaf samples of C. brachystachys and P. auriteum, but higher in the gap samples of H. monteverdensis. Ratios of chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b were significantly greater for gap samples of all three species. A higher concentration of chlorophyll and carotenoids in the understory plants of C. brachystachys and P. auriteum suggests they are adjusting the absolute and relative amounts of pigments to make use of sparse light in the understory. H. monteverdensis utilizes its photosynthetic pigments slightly differently, acting much like a canopy plant. Una planta puede manipular absolutamente la cantidad relativa de pigmentos fotosintéticos en los diferentes ambientes de luz (Hopkins, 1995, Goncalves y Vieira, 2001). Se colectaron muestras de 10 plantas de Calyptrogyne bracystachys (Arecaceae), Heliconia monteverdensis (Heliconiaceae) y Piper ariteum (Piperaceae), y se midieron las concentraciones de clorofila a y b, y carotenoides en el sotobosque y en los claros del bosque.


Photosynthetic pigments, Pigmentos fotosinteticos, Understory plants, Plantas del sotobosque, Cloud forest ecology, Ecologia del bosque nuboso, Monteverde Biological Station (Costa Rica), Estacion Biologica de Monteverde (Costa Rica), Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano, CIEE Fall 2008, CIEE Otoño 2008

Geographic Location

Monteverde Biological Station (Costa Rica); Estacion Biologica de Monteverde (Costa Rica); Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano



Media Type


Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Regulation of photosynthetic pigments in tropical understory and gaps



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.