PROSPECTIVE FUNCTIONAL INDICATORS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION POTENTIAL IN CASUARINA EQUISETIFOLIA L.
Chlorophyll contents reflects the plants ability to adapt to stress, and has been used as a diagnostic tool to study genotypic variation. Fifteen clones of Casuarina equisetifolia L. selected from varied climatic conditions were compared for their growth performance and biochemical profile in order to identify markers for early screening of perennials for their adaptation to changing climatic conditions. Chlorophylls a and b, total chlorophyll, a:b ratio and carbonic anhydrase were chosen as indicators of biochemical alteration. The main questions addressed in this study were (1) Do clones show variations at the biochemical level, and can it be correlated with growth performance? (2) Which biochemical indicator is more effective as a marker for productivity and consequently in predicting carbon accumulation in clones? Significant variations were observed in all the parameters studied. The chlorophyll a and the hydrolytic enzyme, carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity correlated positively with DBH, a measure of the carbon accumulation in plants suggesting their application as a sound method to test seedling stock quality for enhanced sequestration potential.
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