Disentangling light, temperature and water effects on the carbon balance of Mediterranean woodlands

Last August, Functional Plant Biology published online our paper on the effects of soil water and temperature on light inhibition in Mediterranean holm oak forests. There is a long story behind how two ECOFUN members ended up contributing to this paper. More than ten years ago now, in December 2006, I found myself sleeping at -15°C in a beautiful Mediterranean continental holm oak woodland, in one of the most remote areas of Western Europe with three fabulous scientists: Fernando Valladares, Owen Atkin and Joana Zaragoza-Castells. They handed me a thick operational manual, a torch lamp and a very heavy grey suitcase. I had no-idea what I was about to get myself into. For me, that campaign turned out to be a landmark not only for my career, but also for my life. During that week, I learned the basis of how plants take up and use carbon and how light, water availability and temperature regulate these processes. That field campaign was followed by six more while we followed the acclimation of photosynthesis and respiration in the light and in the dark. The years went by and none of us had found the opportunity to get that dataset into publishable form. Fortunately for us, Mathew Turnbull decided to visit Josep Peñuelas lab in CREAF. During that visit, the team at CREAF, including current ECOFUN member Adrià Barbeta, measured photosynthesis, light and dark respiration on the same species, but under two levels of water availability. Mathew brought together these two datasets and found that the degree of light inhibition by respiration is quite conserved regardless of the growth temperature and water availability.

2007-11 Alto Tajo (22) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The original team from the central Spain site and some of our collaborators during one of the winter campaigns During the summer campaigns it was a whole different story

Read the whole story:

Matthew H. Turnbull, Romà Ogaya, Adrià Barbeta, Josep Peñuelas, Joana Zaragoza-Castells, Owen K. Atkin, Fernando Valladares, Teresa E. Gimeno, Beatriz Pías and Kevin L. Griffin (2017) Light inhibition of foliar respiration in response to soil water availability and seasonal changes in temperature in Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex) forest. Functional Plant Biology. DOI: 0.1071/FP17032

Disentangling light, temperature and water effects on the carbon balance of Mediterranean woodlands
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