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Storage and transpiration have negligible effects on delta13C of stem CO2 efflux in large conifer trees

Ubierna, N., Kumar, A. S., Cernusak, Lucas A., Pangle, R. E., Gag, P. J. and Marshall, J. D. (2009). Storage and transpiration have negligible effects on delta13C of stem CO2 efflux in large conifer trees. Tree Physiology,29(12):1563-1574.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Storage and transpiration have negligible effects on delta13C of stem CO2 efflux in large conifer trees
Author Ubierna, N.
Kumar, A. S.
Cernusak, Lucas A.
Pangle, R. E.
Gag, P. J.
Marshall, J. D.
Journal Name Tree Physiology
Publication Date 2009
Volume Number 29
Issue Number 12
ISSN 0829-318X   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 1563
End Page 1574
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication UK
Publisher Oxford University Press
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Stem respiration rates are often quantified by measuring the CO(2) efflux from stems into chambers. It has been suggested that these measurements underestimate respiration because some of the respired CO(2) can be either retained or transported upwards in the transpiration stream. If the stem CO(2) efflux does not represent all respired CO(2), then the interpretation of its isotopic signal may be compromised as well. The C-isotope composition of the respired CO(2) and the measured efflux could differ due to (i) the release of CO(2) produced elsewhere into the stem and transported upwards in xylem water (soil CO(2) or root respired CO(2)); (ii) the retention or release of CO(2) storage pools within the tree stem and (iii) the removal of CO(2) by the transpiration stream. We investigated the effects of these processes in large conifer trees using two manipulative experiments: a labelling experiment and a crown removal experiment. The labelling experiment used an extreme enrichment of dissolved CO(2) in soil water to assess the C uptake by the roots. In this experiment, we found no contamination of the stem CO(2) pool despite clear evidence that the water itself had been taken up. The crown removal experiment tested for vertical CO(2) flux in xylem water by eliminating transpiration. Here, we found no change in the delta(13)C of stem CO(2) efflux (delta(EA); P > 0.05). We concluded that for these large conifers, sap-flow influenced neither delta(13)C of stem efflux nor that of the stem CO(2) pool. By parameterizing Henry's Law for conditions inside the stem, we estimated the transport flux to represent 1-3% of the stem CO(2) efflux to the atmosphere. Finally, assuming a 2 per thousand difference between delta(13)C of root and stem respiration, we estimated that potential contamination of delta(EA) by root respired CO(2) would be < 0.1 per thousand. Thus, neither the release of soil or root CO(2), nor storage in the stem, nor vertical transport of CO(2) in the xylem sap had any detectable influence on delta(13)C of the CO(2) measured in stem efflux.
 
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Created: Wed, 24 Mar 2010, 09:49:00 CST by Sarena Wegener