Photosynthetic capacity and water use efficiency of Argyrodendron peralatum leaves across a vertical gradient

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Isabel Eleanor Dixon

Keywords

Big Leaf Theory, Resource Allocation, Water Use Efficiency

Abstract

A simple model of rainforest resource allocation is the Big Leaf Theory model.  Rainforest ecosystems distribute resources to the canopy in order to maximise the benefits of increased irradiance exposure. Argyrodendron peralatum is an Australian tree species, endemic to Far North Queensland. Through analysis of photosynthetic capacity and stomatal capacity, which also allows analysis of water use efficiency, across understory, mid canopy, and top canopy levels, it was shown that A. peralatum follows the Big Leaf Theory model; performing these functions at higher rates at the top canopy level.

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