The effects of ambient temperatures between 15° and 43°C were determined on net photosynthesis of ‘French’ prune (Prunus domestica L. cv. Agen) trees maintained under a non-limiting soil water supply. The temperature optimum for photosynthesis was about 30° and net CO2 assimilation decreased rapidly above 35° even when water vapor pressure differences (VPD) were only 5 to 10 mb. Leaf resistance (r1) remained very low (2 to 3 sec cm-1) although leaf temperature reached 47° and the leaf water potential (ψ) decreased to -25 bars. Thus, non-stomatal photosynthetic inhibition was responsible for the 80% decline in net CO2 assimilation. Canopy wetting prevented the decline in net CO2 assimilation by reducing leaf temperature 8° (vs. control) and maintaining the ψ 14 bars higher than the non-misted control.
Received for publication July 3, 1980.
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Present address: Department of Citriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot, Israel.
Present address: Division of Fruit Breeding and Genetics, The Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel.
Department of Botany, University of California, Davis.