Since the 1930s, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Forest
Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry (the Institute) has
studied mahogany and its management. In the 1960s, F.B. Lamb, the author
of the classic book on mahogany (1966), was an Institute collaborator.
Before gene flow and genetic erosion became popular terms, my predecessor
Frank Wadsworth established a gene bank at the Luquillo Experimental
Life on Earth is dependent on sunlight. In the process known as photosynthesis, plants,
algae and certain bacterias are capable of using this source of energy to drive the synthesis
of organic compounds. The oxygenic photosynthesis results in the release of molecular
oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that is used to synthesize
THE CONVERSION OF SOLAR ENERGY to the chemical energy of organic compounds is a complex process that includes electron transport and photosynthetic carbon metabolism (see Chapters 7 and 8). Earlier discussions of the photochemical and biochemical reactions of photosynthesis should not overshadow the fact that, under natural conditions, the photosynthetic process takes place in intact organisms that are continuously responding to internal and external changes. This chapter addresses some of the photosynthetic responses of the intact leaf to its environment....