Seasonal acclimation of leaf respiration in Eucalyptus saligna trees: Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 and summer drought

Kristine Y. Crous, Joana Zaragoza-Castells, Markus Löw, David S. Ellsworth, David T. Tissue, Mark G. Tjoelker, Craig V.M. Barton, Teresa E. Gimeno, Owen K. Atkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding the impacts of atmospheric [CO2] and drought on leaf respiration (R) and its response to changes in temperature is critical to improve predictions of plant carbon-exchange with the atmosphere, especially at higher temperatures. We quantified the effects of [CO2]-enrichment (+240ppm) on seasonal shifts in the diel temperature response of R during a moderate summer drought in Eucalyptus saligna growing in whole-tree chambers in SE Australia. Seasonal temperature acclimation of R was marked, as illustrated by: (1) a downward shift in daily temperature response curves of R in summer (relative to spring); (2)≈60% lower R measured at 20oC (R20) in summer compared with spring; and (3) homeostasis over 12 months of R measured at prevailing nighttime temperatures. R20, measured during the day, was on average 30-40% higher under elevated [CO2] compared with ambient [CO2] across both watered and droughted trees. Drought reduced R20 by≈30% in both [CO2] treatments resulting in additive treatment effects. Although [CO2] had no effect on seasonal acclimation, summer drought exacerbated the seasonal downward shift in temperature response curves of R. Overall, these results highlight the importance of seasonal acclimation of leaf R in trees grown under ambient- and elevated [CO2] as well as under moderate drought. Hence, respiration rates may be overestimated if seasonal changes in temperature and drought are not considered when predicting future rates of forest net CO2 exchange.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1560-1576
    Number of pages17
    JournalGlobal Change Biology
    Volume17
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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