ABSTRACT A nitrogen‐based model of maintenance respiration (Rm) would link Rm with nitrogen‐based photosynthesis models and enable simpler estimation of dark respiration flux from forest canopies. To test whether an N‐based model of Rm would apply generally to foliage of boreal and subalpine woody plants, I measured Rm (CO2 efflux at night from fully expanded foliage) for foliage of seven species of trees and shrubs in the northern boreal forest (near Thompson, Manitoba, Canada) and seven species in the subalpine montane forest (near Fraser, Colorado, USA). At 10°C, average Rm for boreal foliage ranged from 0.94 to 6.8μmol kg−1 s−1 (0.18–0.58 μmol m−2 s−1) and for subalpine foliage it ranged from 0.99 to 7.6 μmol kg−1 s−1 (0.28–0.64μmol m−2 s−1). CO2 efflux at 10°C for the samples was only weakly correlated with sample weight (r = 0.11) and leaf area (r = 0.58). However, CO2 efflux per unit foliage weight was highly correlated with foliage N concentration (r = 0.83, CO2 flux at 10°C (mol kg−1 s−1) = 2.62 × foliage N (mol kg−1)J, and slopes were statistically similar for the boreal and subalpine sites (P=0.28). CO2 efflux per unit of foliar N was 1.8 times that reported for a variety of crop and wildland species growing in warmer climates.
Plant Cell & Environment – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1995
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