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In this study, the effects of different light intensities either in direct sunlight or in the shade crown of adult beech Fagus sylvatica L. We analysed the isotopic composition in leaf bulk, leaf cellulose, phloem and xylem material and related the results to a meteorological data air temperature, T and relative humidity, RH , b leaf gas exchange measurements stomatal conductance, g s ; transpiration rate, E ; and maximum photosynthetic activity, A max and c the outcome of a steady-state evaporative enrichment model.
We observed significant seasonal changes for both parameters, especially in , and also significant differences between the study years. The interaction of plants with their environment is predominantly influenced by their requirement for resources that are necessary for growth, survival and defence. Nitrogen, water and carbon are crucial resources that influence plant growth and development.
As a consequence, A and g s are important parameters for assessing the amount of carbon acquired in relation to water loss and are both influenced by environmental constraints such as light intensity, temperature and water availability. Owing to the complex structure of the canopy in forest ecosystems, carbon assimilation and stomatal opening differ between the upper and lower canopy Niinemets et al.
The structure of the canopy has an effect by generating gradients of light intensity through self-shading; it also affects leaf water availability and causes differences in leaf-to-air water vapour pressure.
In European beech forests, intra-canopy light gradients are particularly large as beech trees suppress the competing species by intense shading. Besides the above-mentioned factors, air pollutants, e. O 3 and its reaction products reactive oxygen species, ROS; Kanofsky and Sima are oxidative stressors, and can cause severe damage to plants leading to reduced growth and photosynthesis as well as to premature senescence Calatayud et al.