Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Can light-saturated photosynthesis in lowland tropical forests be estimated by one light level?


Verryckt, Lore T. et al. (2020), Data from: Can light-saturated photosynthesis in lowland tropical forests be estimated by one light level?, Dryad, Dataset,


Leaf-level net photosynthesis (An) estimates and associated photosynthetic parameters are crucial for accurately parameterizing photosynthesis models. For tropical forests such data are poorly available and collected at variable light conditions. To avoid over- or underestimation of modelled photosynthesis, it is critical to know at which photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) photosynthesis becomes light saturated. We studied the dependence of An on PPFD in two tropical forests in French Guiana. We estimated the light saturation range, including the lowest PPFD level at which Asat (An at light saturation) is reached, as well as the PPFD range at which Asat remained unaltered. The light saturation range was derived from photosynthetic light-response curves, and within-canopy and interspecific differences were studied. We observed wide light saturation ranges of An. Light saturation ranges differed among canopy heights, but a PPFD level of 1000 µmol/m²/s was common across all heights, except for pioneer trees species that did not reach light saturation below 2000 µmol/m²/s. A light intensity of 1000 µmol/m²/s sufficed for measuring Asat of climax species at our study sites, independent of the species or the canopy height. Because of the wide light saturation ranges, results from studies measuring Asat at higher PPFD levels (for upper canopy leaves up to 1600 µmol/m²/s) are comparable with studies measuring at 1000 µmol/m²/s.


We refer to the methods section of the manuscript for more details.


Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

European Research Council, Award: ERC-2013-SyG-610028 IMBALANCE-P

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: AnaEE-France ANR-11-INBS-0001

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: Labex CEBA ANR-10-LABX-25-01