Estimating photosynthetic rate and annual carbon gain in conifers from specific leaf weight and leaf biomass.


Journal Article

Canopy photosynthesis is difficult to measure directly or to predict with complex models demanding knowledge of seasonal variation in environmental and physiological properties of the canopy. Trees in particular offer a challenge with their large, aerodynamically rough and seasonally-changing canopy properties. In this paper we assess the possibility of using specific leaf weight to predict seasonal and annual net photosynthetic rate in deciduous (Larix sp.) and evergreen (Picea abies) conifers.Annual photosynthetic rate and specific leaf weight of different positions of the crown in both species were highly correlated (r 2=0.930). Annual carbon uptake by different segments in a mature P. abies crown was closely related to leaf biomass. The relationship was improved by adjusting the leaf biomass of each segment in regard to its specific leaf weight relative to the maximum found in the canopy. The adjustment accounted for associated differences in photosynthetic activity. This combined structural index (leaf biomassxrelative specific leaf weight) could, when calibrated, predict the total annual carbon uptake by different parts of the crown. If direct measurements of photosynthesis are not available, the combined structural index may still serve as a comparative estimator of annual carbon uptake.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Oren, R; Schulze, E-D; Matyssek, R; Zimmermann, R

Published Date

  • September 1986

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 187 - 193

PubMed ID

  • 28311656

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28311656

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1939

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0029-8549

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/bf00379238


  • eng