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Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment

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Title: Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment
Authors: Smith, N
Keenan, T
Prentice, I
Wang, H
Wright, I
Niinemets, U
Crous, K
Domingues, T
Guerrieri, R
Ishida, Y
Kattge, J
Kruger, E
Maire, V
Rogers, A
Serbin, S
Tarvainen, L
Togashi, H
Townsend, P
Wang, M
Weerasinghe, L
Zhou, S-X
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Earth system models (ESMs) use photosynthetic capacity, indexed by the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate (Vcmax), to simulate carbon assimilation and typically rely on empirical estimates, including an assumed dependence on leaf nitrogen determined from soil fertility. In contrast, new theory, based on biochemical coordination and co‐optimization of carboxylation and water costs for photosynthesis, suggests that optimal Vcmax can be predicted from climate alone, irrespective of soil fertility. Here, we develop this theory and find it captures 64% of observed variability in a global, field‐measured Vcmax dataset for C3 plants. Soil fertility indices explained substantially less variation (32%). These results indicate that environmentally regulated biophysical constraints and light availability are the first‐order drivers of global photosynthetic capacity. Through acclimation and adaptation, plants efficiently utilize resources at the leaf level, thus maximizing potential resource use for growth and reproduction. Our theory offers a robust strategy for dynamically predicting photosynthetic capacity in ESMs.
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance: 7-Nov-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66646
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.13210
ISSN: 1461-023X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 506
End Page: 517
Journal / Book Title: Ecology Letters
Volume: 22
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article, which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13210
Sponsor/Funder: AXA Research Fund
Funder's Grant Number: AXA Chair Programme in Biosphere and Climate Impacts
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Ecology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Carbon cycle
Carboxylation
coordination
ecophysiology
electron transport
Jmax
light availability
nitrogen availability
temperature
V-cmax
LEAF NITROGEN
TEMPERATURE RESPONSE
THERMAL-ACCLIMATION
BIOCHEMICAL-MODEL
CO2 ASSIMILATION
QUANTUM YIELD
V-CMAX
TRAITS
WATER
CONDUCTANCE
Vcmax
0501 Ecological Applications
0602 Ecology
Publication Status: Published
Embargo Date: 2020-01-04
Online Publication Date: 2019-01-04
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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