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Differential effects of lichens versus liverworts epiphylls on host leaf traits in the tropical montane rainforest, Hainan Island, China.

Zhou L, Liu F, Yang W, Liu H, Shao H, Wang Z, An S - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

Bottom Line: Understanding the effects of epiphylls on leaf traits of host plants is critical for understanding ecological function of epiphylls.Our results found that the colonization of lichens significantly decreased leaf water content (LWC), chlorophyll (Chl) a and a + b content, and Chl a/b of P. prunifolia but increased Chl b content, while that of liverworts did not affect them as a whole.The results suggest that the responses of host leaf traits to epiphylls are affected by the epiphyllous groups and coverage, which are also crucial factors in assessing ecofunctions of epiphylls in tropical forests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.

ABSTRACT
Epiphylls widely colonize vascular leaves in moist tropical forests. Understanding the effects of epiphylls on leaf traits of host plants is critical for understanding ecological function of epiphylls. A study was conducted in a rain forest to investigate leaf traits of the host plants Photinia prunifolia colonized with epiphyllous liverworts and foliicolous lichens as well as those of uncolonized leaves. Our results found that the colonization of lichens significantly decreased leaf water content (LWC), chlorophyll (Chl) a and a + b content, and Chl a/b of P. prunifolia but increased Chl b content, while that of liverworts did not affect them as a whole. The variations of net photosynthetic rates (P n ) among host leaves colonized with different coverage of lichens before or after removal treatment (a treatment to remove epiphylls from leaf surface) were greater than that colonized with liverworts. The full cover of lichens induced an increase of light compensation point (LCP) by 21% and a decrease of light saturation point (LSP) by 54% for their host leaves, whereas that of liverworts displayed contrary effects. Compared with the colonization of liverworts, lichens exhibited more negative effects on the leaf traits of P. prunifolia in different stages of colonization. The results suggest that the responses of host leaf traits to epiphylls are affected by the epiphyllous groups and coverage, which are also crucial factors in assessing ecofunctions of epiphylls in tropical forests.

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Estimated photosynthetic parameters of Photinia prunifolia colonized with lichens and liverworts, pre- versus postremoval (mean ± 1 SE) (n = 4). (a) Respiration rate (R), (b) maximum rates of photosynthesis (Pmax⁡), (c) light compensation point (LCP), and (d) light saturation point (LSP). The symbol * indicates the difference of photosynthetic parameters between pre- and postremoval treatment; different small and capital letters near the bars indicate the differences among leaves with different coverage and between leaves colonized with liverworts and lichens (P < 0.05).
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fig3: Estimated photosynthetic parameters of Photinia prunifolia colonized with lichens and liverworts, pre- versus postremoval (mean ± 1 SE) (n = 4). (a) Respiration rate (R), (b) maximum rates of photosynthesis (Pmax⁡), (c) light compensation point (LCP), and (d) light saturation point (LSP). The symbol * indicates the difference of photosynthetic parameters between pre- and postremoval treatment; different small and capital letters near the bars indicate the differences among leaves with different coverage and between leaves colonized with liverworts and lichens (P < 0.05).

Mentions: Epiphylls showed a negligible effect on total respiration rate (R) of leaves colonized with epiphylls in preremoval (left panel, Figure 3(a)), but the treatment of removing epiphylls resulted in a significant variation of R in most leaves of P. prunifolia, particularly for those with 25%–75% liverworts exhibited significant higher R (P < 0.05) compared with uncolonized leaves. Leaves colonized with 100% lichens had a significantly higher R (P = 0.040) in postremoval compared with those in preremoval (right panel, Figure 3(a)). With the exception of that in coverage and removal, interactions among epiphyllous groups, coverage, and treatment of removal (removal) were all significant in R of P. prunifolia leaves (Table 2). Epiphyll colonization did not affect the maximum net photosynthesis rates (Pmax⁡) of host leaves in general (P > 0.05, Figure 3(b)), except that of leaves with 50% lichens in preremoval with a higher Pmax⁡ (P = 0.042), in spite of the corresponding photosynthetic photon flux for Pmax⁡ that was different (Figure 2). The interaction of coverage and removal was significant in Pmax⁡.


Differential effects of lichens versus liverworts epiphylls on host leaf traits in the tropical montane rainforest, Hainan Island, China.

Zhou L, Liu F, Yang W, Liu H, Shao H, Wang Z, An S - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

Estimated photosynthetic parameters of Photinia prunifolia colonized with lichens and liverworts, pre- versus postremoval (mean ± 1 SE) (n = 4). (a) Respiration rate (R), (b) maximum rates of photosynthesis (Pmax⁡), (c) light compensation point (LCP), and (d) light saturation point (LSP). The symbol * indicates the difference of photosynthetic parameters between pre- and postremoval treatment; different small and capital letters near the bars indicate the differences among leaves with different coverage and between leaves colonized with liverworts and lichens (P < 0.05).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4066865&req=5

fig3: Estimated photosynthetic parameters of Photinia prunifolia colonized with lichens and liverworts, pre- versus postremoval (mean ± 1 SE) (n = 4). (a) Respiration rate (R), (b) maximum rates of photosynthesis (Pmax⁡), (c) light compensation point (LCP), and (d) light saturation point (LSP). The symbol * indicates the difference of photosynthetic parameters between pre- and postremoval treatment; different small and capital letters near the bars indicate the differences among leaves with different coverage and between leaves colonized with liverworts and lichens (P < 0.05).
Mentions: Epiphylls showed a negligible effect on total respiration rate (R) of leaves colonized with epiphylls in preremoval (left panel, Figure 3(a)), but the treatment of removing epiphylls resulted in a significant variation of R in most leaves of P. prunifolia, particularly for those with 25%–75% liverworts exhibited significant higher R (P < 0.05) compared with uncolonized leaves. Leaves colonized with 100% lichens had a significantly higher R (P = 0.040) in postremoval compared with those in preremoval (right panel, Figure 3(a)). With the exception of that in coverage and removal, interactions among epiphyllous groups, coverage, and treatment of removal (removal) were all significant in R of P. prunifolia leaves (Table 2). Epiphyll colonization did not affect the maximum net photosynthesis rates (Pmax⁡) of host leaves in general (P > 0.05, Figure 3(b)), except that of leaves with 50% lichens in preremoval with a higher Pmax⁡ (P = 0.042), in spite of the corresponding photosynthetic photon flux for Pmax⁡ that was different (Figure 2). The interaction of coverage and removal was significant in Pmax⁡.

Bottom Line: Understanding the effects of epiphylls on leaf traits of host plants is critical for understanding ecological function of epiphylls.Our results found that the colonization of lichens significantly decreased leaf water content (LWC), chlorophyll (Chl) a and a + b content, and Chl a/b of P. prunifolia but increased Chl b content, while that of liverworts did not affect them as a whole.The results suggest that the responses of host leaf traits to epiphylls are affected by the epiphyllous groups and coverage, which are also crucial factors in assessing ecofunctions of epiphylls in tropical forests.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.

ABSTRACT
Epiphylls widely colonize vascular leaves in moist tropical forests. Understanding the effects of epiphylls on leaf traits of host plants is critical for understanding ecological function of epiphylls. A study was conducted in a rain forest to investigate leaf traits of the host plants Photinia prunifolia colonized with epiphyllous liverworts and foliicolous lichens as well as those of uncolonized leaves. Our results found that the colonization of lichens significantly decreased leaf water content (LWC), chlorophyll (Chl) a and a + b content, and Chl a/b of P. prunifolia but increased Chl b content, while that of liverworts did not affect them as a whole. The variations of net photosynthetic rates (P n ) among host leaves colonized with different coverage of lichens before or after removal treatment (a treatment to remove epiphylls from leaf surface) were greater than that colonized with liverworts. The full cover of lichens induced an increase of light compensation point (LCP) by 21% and a decrease of light saturation point (LSP) by 54% for their host leaves, whereas that of liverworts displayed contrary effects. Compared with the colonization of liverworts, lichens exhibited more negative effects on the leaf traits of P. prunifolia in different stages of colonization. The results suggest that the responses of host leaf traits to epiphylls are affected by the epiphyllous groups and coverage, which are also crucial factors in assessing ecofunctions of epiphylls in tropical forests.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus