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Open AccessArticle

Response of Photosynthesis and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Parameters of Castanopsis kawakamii Seedlings to Forest Gaps

by Zhong-sheng He 1,2,3, Rong Tang 1, Meng-jia Li 1,2,3, Meng-ran Jin 1,2,3, Cong Xin 1,2,3, Jin-fu Liu 1,2,3,* and Wei Hong 1
1
College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
2
Key Lab of Ecology and Resources Statistics of Fujian Colleges, Fuzhou 350002, China
3
Cross–Strait Nature Research Center, Fuzhou 350002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010021
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 17 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 22 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Light is a major environmental factor limiting the growth and survival of plants. The heterogeneity of the light environment after gap formation in forest influences the leaf chlorophyll contents, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), and chlorophyll fluorescence, thus influencing the growth and regeneration of Castanopsis kawakamii seedlings. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of weak light on the photosynthetic physiology of C. kawakamii seedlings in forest gaps and non-gaps. The results showed that (1) the contents of chlorophyll a (Chl-a), chlorophyll b (Chl-b), and total chlorophyll (Chl-T) in forest gaps were lower than in non-gaps. Seedlings tended to increase chlorophyll content to absorb light energy to adapt to low light intensity in non-gap environments. (2) The Pn values of C. kawakamii seedlings in forest gaps were significantly higher than in non-gaps, and forest gaps could improve the seedlings’ photosynthetic capacity. (3) The C. kawakamii seedlings in forest gaps were more sensitive to weak light and control group treatment, especially the tall seedlings, indicating that seedlings require more light to satisfy their growth needs in the winter. The seedlings in non-gaps demonstrated better adaptability to low light intensity. The light intensity was not adequate in weak light conditions and limited seedling growth. We suggest that partial forest selection cutting could improve light intensity in non-gaps, thus promoting seedling growth and regeneration of C. kawakamii more effectively in this forest. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest gaps and non-gaps; photosynthesis; chlorophyll fluorescence; C. kawakamii seedlings forest gaps and non-gaps; photosynthesis; chlorophyll fluorescence; C. kawakamii seedlings
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He, Z.-S.; Tang, R.; Li, M.-J.; Jin, M.-R.; Xin, C.; Liu, J.-F.; Hong, W. Response of Photosynthesis and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Parameters of Castanopsis kawakamii Seedlings to Forest Gaps. Forests 2020, 11, 21.

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