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Changes in biomass allocation buffer low CO2 effects on tree growth during the last glaciation

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Title: Changes in biomass allocation buffer low CO2 effects on tree growth during the last glaciation
Authors: Li, G
Gerhart, LM
Harrison, SP
Ward, JK
Harris, JM
Prentice, IC
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Isotopic measurements on junipers growing in southern California during the last glacial, when the ambient atmospheric [CO2] (ca) was ~180 ppm, show the leaf-internal [CO2] (ci) was approaching the modern CO2 compensation point for C3 plants. Despite this, stem growth rates were similar to today. Using a coupled light-use efficiency and tree growth model, we show that it is possible to maintain a stable ci/ca ratio because both vapour pressure deficit and temperature were decreased under glacial conditions at La Brea, and these have compensating effects on the ci/ca ratio. Reduced photorespiration at lower temperatures would partly mitigate the effect of low ci on gross primary production, but maintenance of present-day radial growth also requires a ~27% reduction in the ratio of fine root mass to leaf area. Such a shift was possible due to reduced drought stress under glacial conditions at La Brea. The necessity for changes in allocation in response to changes in [CO2] is consistent with increased below-ground allocation, and the apparent homoeostasis of radial growth, as ca increases today.
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2017
Date of Acceptance: 19-Jan-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/45833
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep43087
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Journal / Book Title: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
Volume: 7
Issue: 2017
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Sponsor/Funder: AXA Research Fund
Funder's Grant Number: AXA Chair Programme in Biosphere and Climate Impacts
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ELEVATED ATMOSPHERIC CO2
WATER-USE EFFICIENCY
FINE-ROOT DYNAMICS
BREA TAR PITS
RING CHRONOLOGIES
CARBON ALLOCATION
C-4 GRASSES
CLIMATE
RESPONSES
FOREST
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 43087
Appears in Collections:Department of Life Sciences
Faculty of Natural Sciences