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Effect of waterlogging on carbon isotope discrimination during photosynthesis in Larix gmelinii

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journal contribution
posted on 07.08.2017 by Fang Li, Atsuko Sugimoto

Soil moisture is a major factor controlling carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C), which has been demonstrated to decrease under dry conditions in many studies; however, few studies on Δ13C under waterlogging condition have been conducted. In this study, a pot experiment was conducted with Larix gmelinii, a major larch species in the east Siberian Taiga, to investigate the effect of waterlogging on Δ13C during photosynthesis. Assimilation rate and Δ13CRD (instantaneous Δ13C calculated with Rayleigh distillation equation) decreased drastically soon after waterlogging, followed by recovery in their values, which was caused by a change in stomatal conductance. Thereafter, assimilation rate decreased gradually, whereas Δ13CRD decreased more gently. These results were thought to be caused by the decrease in both stomatal conductance and carboxylation. Our results indicate that extreme wet events may cause a decrease in Δ13C, which is important information for detecting flooding events in the past using tree-ring isotope analyses and for studying impacts of flooding on plants in areas where waterlogging might occur.


This study was partly supported by GRENE Arctic climate change project and China Scholarship Council (CSC).