DOI: 10.54207/bsmps1000-2005-voigo3 ISSN:

Seasonal photosynthetic performance and nutrients relations of Butea monosperma Taub. in comparison to two other woody species of a seasonal deciduous forest in Se-Rajasthan and to planted trees in the area

Nilima Kumari, Vinay Sharma, Melanie Mikosch, Claudia Unfried, Arthur Gessler, Elke Fischer-Schliebs, Ulrich Lüttge
Butea monosperma Taub. (Fabaceae) is a widespread dominant tree of seasonally dry open forest on rocky hill sites in SE-Rajasthan. It is of ecological importance for habitat-stabilization and of commercial value for its timber and pharmacological applications. Physiological ecology of photosynthesis and water use was studied in B. monosperma in comparison to two less abundant woody species, the tall shrub Capparis sepiaria L. and the straggling, scandent shrub Cocculus hirsutus (L.) Diels. In a natural forest reserve. Levels of essential nutrients in the soil and leaves of these species are presented. Comparisons are also made with a variety of planted trees. B. monosperma tended to have the highest apparent photosynthetic electron transport rates (ETRmax). It had a high capacity for non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). Stable isotope signatures (13C, 18O) indicated flexibility for operating at a wide range of internal/atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ci/ca) and a high water use efficiency (WUE). Thus, ecophysiologically B. monosperma shows traits well suited for the arid rupestrian fields to which it is adapted. This explains its dominance in the area and makes B. monosperma a very suitable tree for afforestation and wasteland reclamation as well as a useful crop for a large variety of pharmacological and other applications.

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