Photosynthetic acclimation to warming in tropical forest tree seedlings.
ABSTRACT: Tropical forests have a mitigating effect on man-made climate change by acting as a carbon sink. For that effect to continue, tropical trees will have to acclimate to rising temperatures, but it is currently unknown whether they have this capacity. We grew seedlings of three tropical tree species over a range of temperature regimes (TGrowth = 25, 30, 35 °C) and measured the temperature response of photosynthetic CO2 uptake. All species showed signs of acclimation: the temperature-response curves shifted, such that the temperature at which photosynthesis peaked (TOpt) increased with increasing TGrowth. However, although TOpt shifted, it did not reach TGrowth at high temperature, and this difference between TOpt and TGrowth increased with increasing TGrowth, indicating that plants were operating at supra-optimal temperatures for photosynthesis when grown at high temperatures. The high-temperature CO2 compensation point did not increase with TGrowth. Hence, temperature-response curves narrowed with increasing TGrowth. TOpt correlated with the ratio of the RuBP regeneration capacity over the RuBP carboxylation capacity, suggesting that at high TGrowth photosynthetic electron transport rate associated with RuBP regeneration had greater control over net photosynthesis. The results show that although photosynthesis of tropical trees can acclimate to moderate warming, carbon gain decreases with more severe warming.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Plants growing under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations often have reduced stomatal conductance and subsequently increased leaf temperature. This study therefore tested the hypothesis that under long-term elevated CO2 the temperature optima of photosynthetic processes will shift towards higher temperatures and the thermostability of the photosynthetic apparatus will increase. METHODS:The hypothesis was tested for saplings of broadleaved Fagus sylvatica and coniferous Picea abies exposed for 4-5 years to either ambient (AC; 385?µmol?mol(-1)) or elevated (EC; 700?µmol?mol(-1)) CO2 concentrations. Temperature response curves of photosynthetic processes were determined by gas-exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence techniques. KEY RESULTS:Initial assumptions of reduced light-saturated stomatal conductance and increased leaf temperatures for EC plants were confirmed. Temperature response curves revealed stimulation of light-saturated rates of CO2 assimilation (Amax) and a decline in photorespiration (RL) as a result of EC within a wide temperature range. However, these effects were negligible or reduced at low and high temperatures. Higher temperature optima (Topt) of Amax, Rubisco carboxylation rates (VCmax) and RL were found for EC saplings compared with AC saplings. However, the shifts in Topt of Amax were instantaneous, and disappeared when measured at identical CO2 concentrations. Higher values of Topt at elevated CO2 were attributed particularly to reduced photorespiration and prevailing limitation of photosynthesis by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration. Temperature response curves of fluorescence parameters suggested a negligible effect of EC on enhancement of thermostability of photosystem II photochemistry. CONCLUSIONS:Elevated CO2 instantaneously increases temperature optima of Amax due to reduced photorespiration and limitation of photosynthesis by RuBP regeneration. However, this increase disappears when plants are exposed to identical CO2 concentrations. In addition, increased heat-stress tolerance of primary photochemistry in plants grown at elevated CO2 is unlikely. The hypothesis that long-term cultivation at elevated CO2 leads to acclimation of photosynthesis to higher temperatures is therefore rejected. Nevertheless, incorporating acclimation mechanisms into models simulating carbon flux between the atmosphere and vegetation is necessary.
Project description:Ongoing climate warming induced by human activities may have great impacts on trees, yet it remains unresolved how subtropical tree species respond to rising temperature in the field. Here, we used downward translocation to investigate the effects of climate warming on leaf photosynthesis of six common tree species in subtropical China. During the experimental period between 2012 and 2014, the mean average photosynthetic rates (Asat) under saturating light for Schima superba, Machilus breviflora, Pinus massoniana and Ardisia lindleyana in the warm site were7%, 19%, 20% and 29% higher than those in the control site. In contrast, seasonal Asat for Castanopsis hystrix in the warm site were lower compared to the control site. Changes in Asat in response to translocation were mainly associated with those in leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthetic capacity (RuBP carboxylation, RuBP regeneration capacity). Our results imply that climate warming could have potential impacts on species composition and community structure in subtropical forests.
Project description:Plant temperature responses vary geographically, reflecting thermally contrasting habitats and long-term species adaptations to their climate of origin. Plants also can acclimate to fast temporal changes in temperature regime to mitigate stress. Although plant photosynthetic responses are known to acclimate to temperature, many global models used to predict future vegetation and climate-carbon interactions do not include this process. We quantify the global and regional impacts of biogeographical variability and thermal acclimation of temperature response of photosynthetic capacity on the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle between 1860 and 2100 within a coupled climate-carbon cycle model, that emulates 22 global climate models. Results indicate that inclusion of biogeographical variation in photosynthetic temperature response is most important for present-day and future C uptake, with increasing importance of thermal acclimation under future warming. Accounting for both effects narrows the range of predictions of the simulated global land C storage in 2100 across climate projections (29% and 43% globally and in the tropics, respectively). Contrary to earlier studies, our results suggest that thermal acclimation of photosynthetic capacity makes tropical and temperate C less vulnerable to warming, but reduces the warming-induced C uptake in the boreal region under elevated CO2 .
Project description:Trichodesmium is a globally important marine diazotroph that accounts for approximately 60 - 80% of marine biological N2 fixation and as such plays a key role in marine N and C cycles. We undertook a comprehensive assessment of how the growth rate of Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101 was directly affected by the combined interactions of temperature, pCO2 and light intensity. Our key findings were: low pCO2 affected the lower temperature tolerance limit (Tmin) but had no effect on the optimum temperature (Topt) at which growth was maximal or the maximum temperature tolerance limit (Tmax); low pCO2 had a greater effect on the thermal niche width than low-light; the effect of pCO2 on growth rate was more pronounced at suboptimal temperatures than at supraoptimal temperatures; temperature and light had a stronger effect on the photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm) than did CO2; and at Topt, the maximum growth rate increased with increasing CO2, but the initial slope of the growth-irradiance curve was not affected by CO2. In the context of environmental change, our results suggest that the (i) nutrient replete growth rate of Trichodesmium IMS101 would have been severely limited by low pCO2 at the last glacial maximum (LGM), (ii) future increases in pCO2 will increase growth rates in areas where temperature ranges between Tmin to Topt, but will have negligible effect at temperatures between Topt and Tmax, (iii) areal increase of warm surface waters (> 18°C) has allowed the geographic range to increase significantly from the LGM to present and that the range will continue to expand to higher latitudes with continued warming, but (iv) continued global warming may exclude Trichodesmium spp. from some tropical regions by 2100 where temperature exceeds Topt.
Project description:Interest in the thermal acclimation of photosynthesis has been stimulated by the increasing relevance of climate change. However, little is known about intra-specific variations in thermal acclimation and its potential for breeding. In this article, we examined the difference in thermal acclimation between alfalfa (Medicago sativa) cultivars originating from contrasting origins, and sought to analyze the mechanisms in play. A series of experiments was carried out at seven growth temperatures between 5 and 35?°C using four cultivars from temperate and Mediterranean origin. Leaf traits, the photosynthetic rate at 25?°C (A400 (25)), the photosynthetic rate at optimal temperature (A400 (opt)), the thermal optimum of photosynthesis (Topt), and the photosynthetic parameters from the Farqhuar model were determined. Irrespective of cultivar origin, a clear shift in the temperature responses of photosynthesis was observed as a function of growth temperature, affecting thermal optimum of photosynthesis, photosynthetic rate at optimal temperature and photosynthetic rate at 25?°C. For both cultivars, Topt values increased linearly in leaves grown between 5 and 35?°C. Relative homeostasis of A400 (25) and A400 (opt) was found between 10?°C and 30?°C growth temperatures, but sharp declines were recorded at 5 and 35?°C. This homeostasis was achieved in part through modifications to leaf nitrogen content, which increased at extreme temperatures. Significant changes were also recorded regarding nitrogen partitioning in the photosynthetic apparatus and in the temperature dependence of photosynthetic parameters. The cultivars differed only in terms of the temperature response of photosynthetic parameters, with Mediterranean genotypes displaying a greater sensitivity of the maximum rate of Rubisco carboxylation to elevated temperatures. It was concluded that intra-specific variations in the temperature acclimation of photosynthesis exist among alfalfa cultivars, but that Mediterranean genotypes presented no evidence of superior performance at high temperatures.
Project description:We examined the photosynthetic responses of Stipa baicalensis to relative long-term exposure (42 days) to the predicted elevated temperature and water availability changes to determine the mechanisms through which the plant would acclimate to future climate change. Two thermal regimes (ambient and +4?°C) and three irrigation levels (partial, normal and excess) were used in environmental control chambers. The gas exchange parameters, light response curves and A/Ci curves were determined. The elevated temperature and partial irrigation reduced the net photosynthetic rate due to a limitation in the photosynthetic capacity instead of the intercellular CO2 concentration. Partial irrigation decreased Rubisco activation and limited RuBP regeneration. The reduction in Vcmax increased with increasing temperature. Excess irrigation offset the negative effect of drought and led to a partial recovery of the photosynthetic capacity. Although its light use efficiency was restricted, the use of light and dark respiration by Stipa baicalensis was unchanged. We concluded that nonstomatal limitation was the primary reason for photosynthesis regulation in Stipa baicalensis under relative long-term climate change conditions. Although climate change caused reductions in the light use efficiency and photosynthetic rate, a self-photoprotection mechanism in Stipa baicalensis resulted in its high ability to maintain normal live activities.
Project description:Ocean warming with climate change is forcing marine organisms to shift their distributions polewards and phenology. In warm tropical seas, evolutionary adaptation by local species to warming will be crucial to avoid predicted desertification and reduction in diversity. However, little is known about the adaptation of phytoplankton in warm seas. Across the ocean, diatomic microalgae are the main primary producers in cold waters; they also contribute to tropical communities where they play a necessary role in the biological pump. Here we show that four species of diatoms isolated from the tropical Red Sea adapted to warming conditions (30 °C) after 200-600 generations by using various thermal strategies. Two of the warming adapted species increased their optimal growth temperature (Topt) and maximum growth rate. The other two diatoms did not increase Topt and growth, but shifted from specialist to generalist increasing their maximum critical thermal limit. Our data show that tropical diatoms can adapt to warming, although trade offs on photosynthetic efficiency, high irradiance stress, and lower growth rate could alter their competitive fitness. Our findings suggest that adaptive responses to warming among phytoplankton could help to arrest the sharp decline in diversity resulting from climate change that is predicted for tropical waters.
Project description:White birch (Betula paperifera Mash) seedlings were exposed to progressively warming in greenhouses under ambient and elevated CO 2 concentrations for 5 months to explore boreal tree species' potential capacity to acclimate to global climate warming and CO 2 elevation. In situ foliar gas exchange, in vivo carboxylation characteristics and chlorophyll fluorescence were measured at temperatures of 26 (o)C and 37 (o)C. Elevated CO 2 significantly increased net photosynthetic rate (Pn) at both measurement temperatures, and Pn at 37 (o)C was higher than that at 26 (o)C under elevated CO 2. Stomatal conductance (gs) was lower at 37 (o)C than at 26 (o)C, while transpiration rate (E) was higher at 37 (o)C than that at 26 (o)C. Elevated CO 2 significantly increased instantaneous water-use efficiency (WUE) at both 26 (o)C and 37 (o)C, but WUE was markedly enhanced at 37 (o)C under elevated CO 2. The effect of temperature on maximal carboxylation rate (Vcmax), PAR-saturated electron transport rate (Jmax) and triose phosphate utilization (TPU) varied with CO 2, and the Vcmax and Jmax were significantly higher at 37 (o)C than at 26 (o)C under elevated CO 2. However, there were no significant interactive effects of CO 2 and temperature on TPU. The actual photochemical efficiency of PSII (DF/ Fm'), total photosynthetic linear electron transport rate through PSII (JT) and the partitioning of JT to carboxylation (Jc) were higher at 37 (o)C than at 26 (o)C under elevated CO 2. Elevated CO 2 significantly suppressed the partitioning of JT to oxygenation (Jo/JT). The data suggest that the CO 2 elevation and progressive warming greatly enhanced photosynthesis in white birch seedlings in an interactive fashion.
Project description:When several models can describe a biological process, the equation that best fits the data is typically considered the best. However, models are most useful when they also possess biologically-meaningful parameters. In particular, model parameters should be stable, physically interpretable, and transferable to other contexts, e.g. for direct indication of system state, or usage in other model types. As an example of implementing these recommended requirements for model parameters, we evaluated twelve published empirical models for temperature-dependent tropical seagrass photosynthesis, based on two criteria: (1) goodness of fit, and (2) how easily biologically-meaningful parameters can be obtained. All models were formulated in terms of parameters characterising the thermal optimum (Topt) for maximum photosynthetic rate (Pmax). These parameters indicate the upper thermal limits of seagrass photosynthetic capacity, and hence can be used to assess the vulnerability of seagrass to temperature change. Our study exemplifies an approach to model selection which optimises the usefulness of empirical models for both modellers and ecologists alike.
Project description:Photosynthetic capacity is one of the most sensitive parameters in vegetation models and its relationship to leaf nitrogen content links the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Process understanding for reliably predicting photosynthetic capacity is still missing. To advance this understanding we have tested across C(3) plant species the coordination hypothesis, which assumes nitrogen allocation to photosynthetic processes such that photosynthesis tends to be co-limited by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylation and regeneration. The coordination hypothesis yields an analytical solution to predict photosynthetic capacity and calculate area-based leaf nitrogen content (N(a)). The resulting model linking leaf photosynthesis, stomata conductance and nitrogen investment provides testable hypotheses about the physiological regulation of these processes. Based on a dataset of 293 observations for 31 species grown under a range of environmental conditions, we confirm the coordination hypothesis: under mean environmental conditions experienced by leaves during the preceding month, RuBP carboxylation equals RuBP regeneration. We identify three key parameters for photosynthetic coordination: specific leaf area and two photosynthetic traits (k(3), which modulates N investment and is the ratio of RuBP carboxylation/oxygenation capacity (V(Cmax)) to leaf photosynthetic N content (N(pa)); and J(fac), which modulates photosynthesis for a given k(3) and is the ratio of RuBP regeneration capacity (J(max)) to V(Cmax)). With species-specific parameter values of SLA, k(3) and J(fac), our leaf photosynthesis coordination model accounts for 93% of the total variance in N(a) across species and environmental conditions. A calibration by plant functional type of k(3) and J(fac) still leads to accurate model prediction of N(a), while SLA calibration is essentially required at species level. Observed variations in k(3) and J(fac) are partly explained by environmental and phylogenetic constraints, while SLA variation is partly explained by phylogeny. These results open a new avenue for predicting photosynthetic capacity and leaf nitrogen content in vegetation models.