Cedar Creek Natural History Area: Literature   Up   Home


Citation. Wright, I.J.; Reich, P.B.; Atkin, O.K.; Lusk, C.H.; Tjoelker, M.G.; Westoby, M. 2006.  Irradiance, temperature and rainfall influence leaf dark respiration in woody plants: evidence from comparisons across 20 sites. NEW PHYTOLOGIST 169:309-319.


• Leaf dark respiration (R) is one of the most fundamental physiological processes in
plants and is a major component of terrestrial CO2 input to the atmosphere. Still, it
is unclear how predictably species vary in R along broad climate gradients.

• Data for R and other key leaf traits were compiled for 208 woody species from 20
sites around the world. We quantified relationships between R and site climate,
and climate-related variation in relationships between R and other leaf traits.

• Species at higher-irradiance sites had higher mean R at a given leaf N
concentration, specific leaf area (SLA), photosynthetic capacity (Amass) or leaf
lifespan than species at lower-irradiance sites. Species at lower-rainfall sites had
higher mean R at a given SLA or Amass than species at higher-rainfall sites. On
average, estimated field rates of R were higher at warmer sites, while no trend
with site temperature was seen when R was adjusted to a standard measurement

• Our findings should prove useful for modelling plant nutrient and carbon budgets,
and for modelling vegetation shifts with climate change.

For reprints or technical issues, please correspond with the author of the paper. For comments on the format or contents of the web site, please contact webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu