Global Patterns in Leaf Respiration and its Temperature Response

Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 10:20
2006 (Moscone West)
Mary Heskel1, Owen K Atkin2, Odhran S O'Sullivan3, Peter B. Reich4, Mark G Tjoelker4, Lasantha K Weerasinghe5, Aurore Penillard6, John J.G. Egerton6, Danielle Creek4,6, Keith J Bloomfield7, Jen Xiang2, Felipe Sinca8, Zsofia Stangl9, Alberto Martinez-de la Torre10, Kevin L Griffin11, Chris Huntingford10, Vaughan Hurry12, Patrick Meir13 and Matthew Turnbull14, (1)Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (2)ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Canberra, Australia, (3)University of Sheffield, Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield, United Kingdom, (4)University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia, (5)Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, (6)Australian National University, Plant Sciences Division, Canberra, Australia, (7)Division of Plant Sciences, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Canberra, Australia, (8)Carnegie Institution for Science Stanford, Department of Global Ecology, Stanford, CA, United States, (9)Umeå University, Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå, Sweden, (10)Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, United Kingdom, (11)Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States, (12)SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Umea, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Umeå, Sweden, (13)Australian National University, Research School of Biology, Canberra, Australia, (14)University of Canterbury, Centre for Integrative Ecology, Christchurch, New Zealand
Leaf respiration (R) represents a massive flux of carbon to the atmosphere. Currently, neither physiological models nor terrestrial biosphere models are able to disentangle sources of variation in leaf R among different plant species and contrasting environments. Similarly, such models do not adequately describe the short-term temperature (T) response of R, which can lead to inaccurate representation of leaf R in simulation models of regional and global terrestrial carbon cyling. Even minor differences in the underlying basal rate of leaf R and/or shape of the T-response curve can significantly impact estimates of carbon released and stored in ecosystems. Given this, we recently assembled and analyzed two new global databases (arctic-to-tropics) of leaf R and its short-term T-dependence. The results highlight variation in basal leaf R among species and across global gradients in T and aridity, with leaf R at a standard T (e.g. 25°C) being greatest in plants growing in the cold, dry Arctic and lowest in the warm, moist tropics. Arctic plants also exhibit higher rates of leaf R at a given photosynthetic capacity or leaf N concentration than their tropical counterparts. The results also point to convergence in the short-term temperature response of respiration across biomes and plant functional types. The applicability and significance of the short-term T-response of R for simulation models of plant and ecosystem carbon fluxes will be discussed.