We assessed the relative limitations to photosynthesis imposed by stomatal and non-stomatal processes in Dacrydium cupressinum Lamb. (Podocarpaceae), which is the dominant species in a native, mixed conifer-broad-leaved rainforest in New Zealand. For comparison, we included three cooccurring broad-leaved tree species (Meterosideros umbellata Cav. (Myrtaceae), Weinmannia racemosa L.f. (Cunoniaceae) and Quintinia acutifolia Kirk (Escalloniaceae)) that differ in phylogeny and in leaf morphology from D. cupressinum. We found that low foliage phosphorus content on an area basis (P-a) limited light-saturated photosynthesis on an area basis (A(sat)) in Q. acutifolia. Depth in the canopy did not generally affect A(sat) or the relative limitations to A(sat) because of stomatal and non-stomatal constraints, despite reductions in the ratio of foliage mass to area, foliar nitrogen on an area basis (N-a) and Pa with depth in the canopy. In the canopy-dominant conifer D. cupressinum, Asat was low, consistent with low values of the maximum rate of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) carboxylation (V-cmax). In comparison, the A(sat) response of the three broad-leaved tree species was quite variable. Although A(sat) was high in the canopy-dominant M. umbellata, it was low in the sub-canopy trees W racemosa and Q. acutifolia. Relative stomatal limitation to photosynthesis was more pronounced in W racemosa (40%) than in the other three species (28-33%). Despite differences in degree, nonstomatal limitation to A(sa)t predominated in all tree species.
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