Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Photosynthetic rates and nutrient contents of spruce needles were measured in a region with high levels of air pollution in NE Bavaria, Germany (FRG), and compared to spruce grown under clean air conditions at Craigieburn, in the South Island of New Zealand (NZ). The absolute rates of CO2 uptake, the slope of the CO2 response curve at 240 μl l−1 internal CO2 concentration, and the change of photosynthetic rates with needle age at ambient and saturated CO2 concentrations were virtually identical at both measuring sites. These results confirm an earlier conclusion, that there is no long-term effect of atmospheric pollutants directly on photosynthetic CO2 uptake rates with persistent exposure at the FRG site to high levels of anthropogenic air pollution. Photosynthetic capacity at saturating CO2 concentration was three times higher in the NZ spruce. Needles with high photosynthetic capacity in NZ had lower nitrogen and higher calcium concentrations per unit dry weight but higher concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium per unit leaf area, and twice the specific leaf weight.
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