PLASTICITY AND/OR INTEGRATION OF LEAFLET ATTRIBUTES CONFER PHOTOACLIMATION TO SCHINUS TEREBINTHIFOLIUS IN COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS OF THE ATLANTIC FOREST
Raw data of the leaflet attributes of Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae) in coastal ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest/Brazil with contrasting irradiance conditions. The following questions were raised: (1) What attributes enable the photoplasticity of S. terebinthifolius? (2) Is this photoaclimation mediated buy integration or by isolated adjustments of leaf functional attributes? (3) Does variation in irradiance influence the relationships among the essential attributes of the leaf economic spectrum? The data demonstrated that The difference in irradiance between the two study areas directly influenced the allocation of carbon during the construction of leaflets. There was greater directing of carbon for the construction of thicker and denser leaflets in Shrub, although with less leaflet area. In addition, a greater amount of δ13C was observed in Shrub, demonstrating that the construction of leaflets was linked to the more efficient use of water. Analysis of quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) demonstrated that the difference in irradiance between the areas did not influence its photochemical performance. We related this finding to the ultrastructural characteristics of the chloroplasts providing photoprotection to thylakoid membranes and facilitating the repair of photo-damaged PSII. The results showed tha the photoaclimation of S. terebinthifolius is controlled mainly by its high capacity to adjust its phenotype (59.18%), at different levels of organization, and to a lesser extent by phenotypic integration (18.72%).