Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

El dosel y el subdosel del bosque nuboso tropical se adaptan a diferentes ambientes de luz mediante el control de pigmentos fotosintéticos

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Publication Date

December 2006

Abstract

The canopy and subcanopy of a Tropical Cloud Forest provide distinctly different light environments. Here, the amounts and ratios of photosynthetic pigments in leaves from a Cloud Forest canopy and subcanopy plants are compared. The pigments of forty canopy and subcanopy leaf samples are extracted using acetone and analyzed using a spectrophotometer. It is found that canopy and subcanopy plants possess equivalent means of concentrations of photosynthetic pigments per mass of leaf tissue (x = 0.21± 0.09 mg/g and 0.22 ± 0.11 mg/g, respectively). Therefore, plants from these two microhabitats invest the same quantity in major pigments for photosynthesis. However, the availability of light cause canopy plants to produce a higher concentration of photosynthetic pigments per area (x = 0.0079 ± 0.0026 mg/cm²) than subcanopy plants (x = 0.0059 ± 0.0019 mg/cm²). Based on the ratio of chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b, it appears that canopy plants (x =1.63 ± 0.57) use their photosynthetic pigments to maximize their rate of light processing. Subcanopy plants (x = 0.98 ± 0.26), in contrast, appear to maximize light absorption. Using the ratio of carotenoids to chlorophyll b, canopy plants (x = 1.24 ± 0.27) may be using carotenoids to prevent photoinhibition. Subcanopy plants, having a much lower carotenoids to chlorophyll b ratio (x = 0.97 ± 0.27), are possibly using carotenoids for further light absorption. El dosel y subdosel de un bosque nuboso tropical proporcionan ambientes de luz muy diferentes. En este caso, se comparan las cantidades y proporciones de los pigmentos fotosintéticos en hojas de un dosel del bosque nuboso y las plantas del subdosel.

Keywords

Forest canopies, Doseles forestales, Chlorophyll, Clorofila, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Fall 2006, CIEE Otoño 2006

Description

Student affiliation : Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin Born Digital

Subject: topical

Forest canopies; Doseles forestales; Chlorophyll; Clorofila; CIEE Fall 2006; CIEE Otoño 2006

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde

Genre

Reports

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI

Identifier

M39-00367

Tropical cloud forest canopy and subcanopy adapt to different light environments by regulating photosynthetic pigments

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