Leaf area and net photosynthesis during development of Prunus serotina seedlings
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Tree Physiology. 12: 55-69.
We used the plastochron index to study the relationship between plant age, leaf age and development,
and net photosynthesis of black cherry (Prtmus serotina Ehrh.) seedlings. Leaf area and net photosynthesis
were measured on all leaves >=75 mm of plants ranging in age from 7 to 20 plastochrons. Effects
of plant developmental stage on leaf area and net photosynthesis were evaluated for leaves of differing
age (horizontal series), leaves on plants of constant age (vertical senes), and leaves of constant age
(oblique series). Regression techniques were used to estimate leaf area from leaf blade dimensions. The
best equations for predicting leaf area had R2 values of 0.991-0.992 and used linear or logarithmic
functions of both leaf length and width. Suitable. but less precise, equations with R2 values of
0.946-0.962 were developed from either leaf length or leaf width. Leaf area development in black
cherry seedlings was similar to that in other indeterminate species. Leaves of young plants reached full
expansion at a lower leaf plastochron age than leaves of older plants. Maximum net photosynthesis per
unit leaf area occurred 2-3 plastochrons before full leaf expansion. There was strong ontogenetic drift
in net photosynthesis with leaf age; net photosynthesis decreased as plant age increased in leaves of the
same plaslochron age. Plots of the oblique series were particularly useful in providing infomlation about
Keywordsdevelopmental stage leafage leaf area. plastochron index regression models seedling survival
Horsley, Stephen B.; Gottschalk, Kurt W. 1993. Leaf area and net photosynthesis during development of Prunus serotina seedlings. Tree Physiology. 12: 55-69.