Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate, plant functional types and leaf traits

O. Atkin, K. Bloomfield, P.B. Reich, M.G. Tjoelker, G. Asner, D. Bonal, G. Bönisch, L. Poorter

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150 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Leaf dark respiration (R-dark) is an important yet poorly quantified component of the global carbon cycle. Given this, we analyzed a new global database of R-dark and associated leaf traits. Data for 899 species were compiled from 100 sites (from the Arctic to the tropics). Several woody and nonwoody plant functional types (PFTs) were represented. Mixed-effects models were used to disentangle sources of variation in R-dark. Area-based R-dark at the prevailing average daily growth temperature (T) of each siteincreased only twofold from the Arctic to the tropics, despite a 20 degrees C increase in growing T (8-28 degrees C). By contrast, R-dark at a standard T (25 degrees C, R-dark(25)) was threefold higher in the Arctic than in the tropics, and twofold higher at arid than at mesic sites. Species and PFTs at cold sites exhibited higher R-dark(25) at a given photosynthetic capacity (V-cmax(25)) or leaf nitrogen concentration ([N]) than species at warmer sites. R-dark(25) values at any given V-cmax(25) or [N] were higher in herbs than in woody plants. The results highlight variation in R-dark among species and across global gradients in T and aridity. In addition to their ecological significance, the results provide a framework for improving representation of R-dark in terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) and associated land-surface components of Earth system models (ESMs).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-636
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume206
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • elevated atmospheric co2
  • terrestrial carbon-cycle
  • tropical rain-forests
  • dark respiration
  • thermal-acclimation
  • temperature sensitivity
  • vegetation models
  • photosynthetic capacity
  • nitrogen concentration
  • scaling relationships

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    Atkin, O., Bloomfield, K., Reich, P. B., Tjoelker, M. G., Asner, G., Bonal, D., Bönisch, G., & Poorter, L. (2015). Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate, plant functional types and leaf traits. New Phytologist, 206(2), 614-636. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.13253