Trait-based scaling of temperature-dependent foliar respiration in a species-rich tropical forest canopy

Martijn Slot, Camilo Rey-Sánchez, Klaus Winter, Kaoru Kitajima
  • Functional Ecology, March 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12263

lea respiratory carbon release from a tropical forest canopy

What is it about?

We quantified CO2 release from respiration of leaves of 28 species of trees and lianas in the upper-canopy of a tropical forest in Panama —making use of a construction crane to access the canopy— and correlated respiration rates and the sensitivity of respiration to short-term temperature change to other leaf traits that are easier to measure. Using these trait-correlations and long-term temperature data, we scaled temperature-dependent leaf respiration to the canopy at the stand level.

Why is it important?

Plants respiration supports maintenance and growth processes. A waste product of respiration is CO2. As temperature increases, more energy is needed for maintenance, and consequently, more CO2 is released into the atmosphere. The CO2 released from respiration almost equals the uptake of CO2 in photosynthesis, and almost 33% of the total respiration flux comes from leaves. Quantifying leaf respiration in relation to temperature is thus important to estimate the carbon balance of forest ecosystems

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The following have contributed to this page: Martijn Slot