Journal Article

Simulating carbon dioxide exchange rates of deciduous tree species: evidence for a general pattern in biochemical changes and water stress response

Robert F. Reynolds, William L. Bauerle and Ying Wang

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 104, issue 4, pages 775-784
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp156
Simulating carbon dioxide exchange rates of deciduous tree species: evidence for a general pattern in biochemical changes and water stress response

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Deciduous trees have a seasonal carbon dioxide exchange pattern that is attributed to changes in leaf biochemical properties. However, it is not known if the pattern in leaf biochemical properties – maximum Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and electron transport (Jmax) – differ between species. This study explored whether a general pattern of changes in Vcmax, Jmax, and a standardized soil moisture response accounted for carbon dioxide exchange of deciduous trees throughout the growing season.

Methods

The model MAESTRA was used to examine Vcmax and Jmax of leaves of five deciduous trees, Acer rubrum ‘Summer Red’, Betula nigra, Quercus nuttallii, Quercus phellos and Paulownia elongata, and their response to soil moisture. MAESTRA was parameterized using data from in situ measurements on organs. Linking the changes in biochemical properties of leaves to the whole tree, MAESTRA integrated the general pattern in Vcmax and Jmax from gas exchange parameters of leaves with a standardized soil moisture response to describe carbon dioxide exchange throughout the growing season. The model estimates were tested against measurements made on the five species under both irrigated and water-stressed conditions.

Key Results

Measurements and modelling demonstrate that the seasonal pattern of biochemical activity in leaves and soil moisture response can be parameterized with straightforward general relationships. Over the course of the season, differences in carbon exchange between measured and modelled values were within 6–12 % under well-watered conditions and 2–25 % under water stress conditions. Hence, a generalized seasonal pattern in the leaf-level physiological change of Vcmax and Jmax, and a standardized response to soil moisture was sufficient to parameterize carbon dioxide exchange for large-scale evaluations.

Conclusions

Simplification in parameterization of the seasonal pattern of leaf biochemical activity and soil moisture response of deciduous forest species is demonstrated. This allows reliable modelling of carbon exchange for deciduous trees, thus circumventing the need for extensive gas exchange experiments on different species.

Keywords: Carbon budget; deciduous trees; modelling; MAESTRA; soil moisture; species response; transpiration; Acer rubrum; Betula nigra; Quercus nuttallii; Q. phellos; Paulownia elongata

Journal Article.  6274 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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