|Title||A genetic analysis of the photosynthetic properties of populations of Danthonia spicata that have different growth responses to light level|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1984|
|Authors||Scheiner SM, Gurevitch J, Teeri JA|
Three populations of the grass Danthonia spicata were observed to have different rates of biomass accumulation when grown in common environment treatments. The populations were native to adjacent sites of different successional age and different levels of shading. Twelve individuals from each population were clonally replicated and two replicates were grown in each of two light treatments, 100% and 22% of unshaded sunlight. Following growth in the treatments the populations all exhibited the same mean light-saturated photosynthetic rate of 11.7 umol/m2/s. This rate is intermediate for published values of sun and shade species and for species from along a successional gradient. There was no difference in photosynthetic rate among treatments. There was significant genetic variation for light-saturated photosynthetic rate within populations but no significant differences among populations. The populations had similar leaf water potential values of -1.12 MPa in all treatments. There were significant differences among treatments and genotypes for specific leaf weight which resulted in signficant differences among treatments and no significant differences among genotypes in light-saturated photosynthetic rate expressed on a leaf weight basis. Light-saturated photosynthetic rate had a high heritability and low plasticity. We postulate that photosynthetic rate is under strong selection and that the observed rates permit populations of D. spicata to grow in a wide range of habitat light levels.