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Limitation of coffee leaf photosynthesis by stomatal conductance and light availability under different shade levels

Franck N., Vaast P.. 2009. Trees, 23 (4) : p. 761-769.

In agroforestry systems, the effect of shade trees on coffee net photosynthesis (An) has been the object of debates among coffee scientists. In this study, we undertook over 600 coffee An ''spot'' measurements under four different artificial shade levels (100, 72, 45 and 19% of full solar irradiance) and analyzed limitations to An by low light availability (photon flux density, PFD) and stomatal conductance (gs). These gas exchange measurements were carried out during two consecutive coffee growing seasons in a commercial plantation in the Orosi valley of Costa Rica. Levels of An were related to PFD and gs in order to calculate envelope functions which were used to establish PFD or gs limitations to An. Under the growing conditions of the present trial, mean leaf An remained stable for growth irradiance (GI) as low as 45% of full sun and decreased by *20% at 19% GI. Limitation to An due to gs was strong in full sun and decreasing with increasing shade levels. On the other hand, limitation due to PFD remained at a similar level for all shade treatments. These different evolutions of limitations of An by PFD and gs in response to shade explain the absence of a decrease in coffee leaf An with a shade level up to 55%. Consequently, these results confirm that Arabica coffee is a shade-adapted plant with leaves that can maintain a high photosynthetic performance under low light availability. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : Éclairage; agroforesterie; ombrage; photosynthèse; stomate; conductance foliaire; Échange gazeux; coffea arabica; costa rica

Thématique : Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Systèmes et modes de culture

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