Key message: Seasonal variations in the leaf photosynthetic traits of an urban tree, Ginkgo biloba, were almost synchronized with the photoperiod. Non-stomatal limitations were a cue for photosynthesis in Ginkgo biloba. Photosynthetic functions, which are key traits in determining the carbon uptake of urban trees, exhibit significant seasonal variations in temperate zones. It is essential to clarify the seasonal dynamics of photosynthesis to evaluate the CO2 uptake in urban areas. We investigated seasonal variations in the photosynthetic traits of Ginkgo biloba, which is a major urban deciduous tall tree often planted in Japan. Seasonal variations in the leaf photosynthetic traits, including the maximum photosynthesis rate, maximum carboxylation rate, and mesophyll and stomatal conductance, were well fitted to quadratic models, in which they peaked around the summer solstice and then declined with time. Seasonal variations in the environmental variables, such as photoperiod, temperature, and solar radiation, were compared to those of the leaf photosynthetic traits, in which the photoperiod explained well variations in the leaf photosynthetic traits. Seasonal variations in photosynthesis were largely governed by non-stomatal limitations, i.e., mesophyll and biochemical limitations. The high synchrony of the photoperiod and photosynthetic traits during leaf maturation may cause an enhancement in the daily carbon uptake of G. biloba leaves around the summer solstice, which has the longest photoperiod, and thus, will lead to an increase in the annual carbon uptake.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science