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Title: Structural and functional changes in coffee trees after 4 years under free air CO2 enrichment
Keywords: Coffea arabica
Leaf area
Photosynthetic light response curve
Plant architecture
Stomatal conductance
Vertical profile
Whole-plant photosynthesis
Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2018
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: RAKOCEVIC, M. et al. Structural and functional changes in coffee trees after 4 years under free air CO2 enrichment. Annals of Botany, [S.l.], v. 121, n. 5, p. 1065-1078, Apr. 2018. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcy011.
Abstract: Background and Aims: climate forecasts suggest that [CO2] in the atmosphere will continue to increase. Structural and ecophysiological responses to elevated air [CO2] (e[CO2]) in tree species are contradictory due to species-dependent responses and relatively short-term experiments. It was hypothesized that long-term exposure (4 year) to e[CO2] would change canopy structure and function of Coffea arabica trees. Methods: coffee plants were grown in a FACE (free air CO2 enrichment) facility under two air [CO2]: actual and elevated (actual + approx. 200 μL CO2 L–1). Plants were codified following the VPlants methodology to obtain coffee mock-ups. Plant canopies were separated into three 50 cm thick layers over a vertical profile to evaluate their structure and photosynthesis, using functional–structural plant modelling. Key Results: leaf area was strongly reduced on the bottom and upper canopy layers, and increased soil carbon concentration suggested changes in carbon partitioning of coffee trees under e[CO2]. Increased air [CO2] stimulated stomatal conductance and leaf photosynthesis at the middle and upper canopy layers, increasing water-use efficiency. Under e[CO2], plants showed reduced diameter of the second-order axes and higher investment in the youngest third to fifth-order axes. Conclusions: the responses of Arabica coffee grown under long-term exposure to e[CO2] integrated structural and functional modifications, which balanced leaf area loss through improvements in leaf and whole-plant photosynthesis.
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