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Effects of Climate Change on Plant Respiration

Ryan, Michael G.
Ecological applications 1991 v.1 no.2 pp. 157-167
acclimation, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, cell respiration, climate, climate change, ecosystems, ion transport, net ecosystem exchange, nitrogen content, photosynthesis, plant tissues, pollutants, protein content, respiratory rate, temperature, water stress
Plant respiration is a large, environmentally sensitive component of the ecosystem carbon balance, and net ecosystem carbon flux will change as the balance between photosynthesis and respiration changes. Partitioning respiration into the functional components of construction, maintenance, and ion uptake will aid the estimation of plant respiration for ecosystems. Maintenance respiration is the component most sensitive to changes in temperature, CO₂, protein concentration and turnover, water stress, and atmospheric pollutants. For a wide variety of plant tissues, maintenance respiration, corrected for temperature, appears to be linearly related to Kjeldahl nitrogen content of live tissue. Total and maintenance respiration may decline under CO₂ enrichment, but the mechanism, independence from changes in protein content, and acclimation are unknown. Response of respiration to temperature can be modelled as a Q₁ ₀ relationship, if corrections for bias arising from daily and annual temperature amplitude are applied. Occurrence and control of the cyanide—resistant respiratory pathway and acclimation of respiration rates to different climates are poorly understood, but may substantially affect the reliability of model estimates of plant respiration.