How closely do the δ13C values of Crassulacean acid metabolism plants reflect the proportion of CO2 fixed during day and night?

Winter, Klaus, and Holtum, Joseph A.M. (2002) How closely do the δ13C values of Crassulacean acid metabolism plants reflect the proportion of CO2 fixed during day and night? Plant Physiology, 129 (4). pp. 1843-1851.

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Abstract

The extent to which Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant δ13C values provide an index of the proportions of CO2 fixed during daytime and nighttime was assessed. Shoots of seven CAM species (Aloe vera, Hylocereus monocanthus, Kalanchoe beharensis, Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Kalanchoe pinnata, Vanilla pauciflora, and Xerosicyos danguyi) and two C3 species (teak [Tectona grandis] and Clusia sp.) were grown in a cuvette, and net CO2 exchange was monitored for up to 51 d. In species exhibiting net dark CO2 fixation, between 14% and 73.3% of the carbon gain occurred in the dark. δ13C values of tissues formed inside the cuvette ranged between -28.7‰ and -11.6‰, and correlated linearly with the percentages of carbon gained in the light and in the dark. The δ13C values for new biomass obtained solely during the dark and light were estimated as -8.7‰ and -26.9‰, respectively. For each 10% contribution of dark CO2 fixation integrated over the entire experiment, the δ13C content of the tissue was, thus, approximately 1.8‰ less negative. Extrapolation of the observations to plants previously surveyed under natural conditions suggests that the most commonly expressed version of CAM in the field, "the typical CAM plant," involves plants that gain about 71% to 77% of their carbon by dark fixation, and that the isotopic signals of plants that obtain one-third or less of their carbon in the dark may be confused with C3 plants when identified on the basis of carbon isotope content alone.

Item ID: 1160
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-2548
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2011 05:06
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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