Thermal acclimation of leaf respiration of tropical trees and lianas: response to experimental canopy warming, and consequences for tropical forest carbon balance

Martijn Slot, Camilo Rey-Sánchez, Stefan Gerber, Jeremy W. Lichstein, Klaus Winter, Kaoru Kitajima
  • Global Change Biology, May 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12563

thermal acclimation of respiration affects estimates of tropical carbon balance with climate change

What is it about?

Plant respiratory carbon release increases exponentially with temperature, potentially leading to a positive feedback to climate warming. We found evidence that upper-canopy leaves in a tropical forest in Panama acclimate to experimental nighttime warming. With these results we parameterized a dynamic land model, and show that with acclimation forest growth and biomass carbon storage increase more during the 21st century than without acclimation.

Why is it important?

Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle. We know that in the short term respiratory carbon release is highly sensitive, yet, no studies to date have experimentally determined whether or not respiration of tropical tree species can acclimation to warming. Knowing that they can is important as it calls for inclusion of acclimation algorithms in global carbon models.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Martijn Slot