Journal Article

Nocturnal stomatal conductance effects on the δ<sup>18</sup>O signatures of foliage gas exchange observed in two forest ecosystems

U. Seibt, L. Wingate and J. A. Berry

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 585-595
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Nocturnal stomatal conductance effects on the δ18O signatures of foliage gas exchange observed in two forest ecosystems

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We report field observations of oxygen isotope (18O) discrimination during nocturnal foliage respiration (18ΔR) in branch chambers in two forest ecosystems: a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) plantation in Scotland; and a beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest in Germany. We used observations and modeling to examine the impact of nocturnal stomatal conductance on the 18O/16O (δ18O) signatures of foliage gas exchange at night. We found that nocturnal stomatal conductance can influence the δ18O signature by affecting: (1) the bidirectional diffusion of CO2 into and out of the leaf (with isotopic equilibration); and (2) the 18O enrichment of the foliage water with which the CO2 equilibrates. Both effects were manifest in high apparent 18ΔR values and enriched δ18O signatures of foliage water at night. The effects were more pronounced for Sitka spruce because of its higher nocturnal stomatal conductance and higher specific leaf water content compared to beech. We found that taking the effects of nocturnal stomatal conductance into account may change the sign of the δ18O signature of nocturnal foliage respiration, generally thought to decrease the δ18O of atmospheric CO2. We conclude that nocturnal stomatal exchange can have a profound effect on isotopic exchange depending on species and environmental conditions. These effects can be important when using δ18O signatures of canopy CO2 to distinguish foliage and soil respiration, and when modeling the δ18O signature of CO2 exchanged between ecosystems and the atmosphere.

Keywords: branch chamber method; Fagus sylvatica; leaf water enrichment; Picea sitchensis

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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