INTRODUCfION It has been known for a long time that plants which occupy shaded habitats are incapable of high photosynthetic rates, but they perform efficiently at low light intensities. Plants that grow under high light intensities in their native habitats have a high capacity for photosynthesis at a saturating light intensity, but they show lower rates of net photosynthesis than shade plants at low light intensities (20,70). BOARDMAN Extreme shade species can survive at much lower light intensities than sun species. Differences in photosynthetic characteristics can also be induced by the light intenÂ sity under which a particular species is grown. Leaves of sun species when grown under low light intensities show light saturation curves which bear resemblance to those of shade plants. Thus a classification of plants into sun and shade species cannot be made on the basis of light saturation curves or light compensation points alone. Plants are classified into sun and shade plants depending on their adaptability to a selected light intensity (6). This adaptability is inherited; it is determined by the genotype and results from genetic adaptation to the light environment prevailing in the native habitat. This review is concerned with the mechanisms underlying
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1977
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