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Plant carbon metabolism and climate change: elevated CO2 and temperature impacts on photosynthesis, photorespiration and respiration

Dusenge, Mirindi Eric, Duarte, André Galvao, Way, Danielle A.
Thenew phytologist 2019 v.221 no.1 pp. 32-49
acclimation, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, carbon markets, carbon metabolism, climatic factors, global warming, leaves, photorespiration, plant response, temperature, vegetation
Contents Summary 32 I. The importance of plant carbon metabolism for climate change 32 II. Rising atmospheric CO2 and carbon metabolism 33 III. Rising temperatures and carbon metabolism 37 IV. Thermal acclimation responses of carbon metabolic processes can be best understood when studied together 38 V. Will elevated CO2 offset warming‐induced changes in carbon metabolism? 40 VI. No plant is an island: water and nutrient limitations define plant responses to climate drivers 41 VII. Conclusions 42 Acknowledgements 42 References 42 Appendix A1 48 SUMMARY: Plant carbon metabolism is impacted by rising CO₂ concentrations and temperatures, but also feeds back onto the climate system to help determine the trajectory of future climate change. Here we review how photosynthesis, photorespiration and respiration are affected by increasing atmospheric CO₂ concentrations and climate warming, both separately and in combination. We also compile data from the literature on plants grown at multiple temperatures, focusing on net CO₂ assimilation rates and leaf dark respiration rates measured at the growth temperature (Agᵣₒwₜₕ and Rgᵣₒwₜₕ, respectively). Our analyses show that the ratio of Agᵣₒwₜₕ to Rgᵣₒwₜₕ is generally homeostatic across a wide range of species and growth temperatures, and that species that have reduced Agᵣₒwₜₕ at higher growth temperatures also tend to have reduced Rgᵣₒwₜₕ, while species that show stimulations in Agᵣₒwₜₕ under warming tend to have higher Rgᵣₒwₜₕ in the hotter environment. These results highlight the need to study these physiological processes together to better predict how vegetation carbon metabolism will respond to climate change.