Photosynthetic changes and oxidative stress caused by iron ore dust deposition in the tropical CAM tree Clusia hilariana

Research paper by Eduardo Gusmão Pereira, Marco Antonio Oliva, Kacilda Naomi Kuki, José Cambraia

Indexed on: 02 Oct '08Published on: 02 Oct '08Published in: Trees


The effect of iron solid particulate matter (SPMFe) deposited onto soil and leaves on photosynthesis and oxidative stress was evaluated in Clusia hilariana, a CAM tropical tree of high occurrence in Brazilian restingas. Significant increases in iron content were found in plants exposed to SPMFe applied onto leaf and soil surfaces. However, only the application of SPMFe on leaves of C. hilariana caused significant reductions in some evaluated characteristics such as photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration, organic acid accumulation, potential quantum yield of PSII, and changes in daily CAM photosynthesis pattern. Increase in relative membrane permeability and reduction in catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in the leaves of plants exposed to SPMFe also were observed; however, lipid peroxidation did not change. These responses seem to be due to the combination of physical effects such as increase of leaf temperature, reduction in light absorption, obstruction of stomatal pores, and biochemical effects triggered by oxidative stress.