In vivo temperature response functions of parameters required to model RuBP-limited photosynthesis

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The leaf model of C3 photosynthesis of Farquhar, von Caemmerer & Berry (Planta 149, 78-90, 1980) provides the basis for scaling carbon exchange from leaf to canopy and Earth-System models, and is widely used to project biosphere responses to global change. This scaling requires using the leaf model over a wider temperature range than that for which the model was originally parameterized. The leaf model assumes that photosynthetic CO 2 uptake within a leaf is either limited by the rate of ribulose-1,5- bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration or the activity of RuBP carboxylase-oxygenase (Rubisco). Previously we reported a re-parameterization of the temperature responses of Rubisco activity that proved robust when applied to a range of species. Herein this is extended to re-parameterizing the response of RuBP-limited photosynthesis to temperature. RuBP-limited photosynthesis is assumed to depend on the whole chain electron transport rate, which is described as a three-parameter non-rectangular hyperbolic function of photon flux. Herein these three parameters are determined from simultaneous measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence and CO2 exchange of tobacco leaves, at temperatures from 10 to 40°C. All varied significantly with temperature and were modified further with variation in growth temperature from 15 to 35°C. These parameters closely predicted the response of RuBP-limited photosynthesis to temperature measured in both lemon and poplar and showed a significant improvement over predictions based on earlier parameterizations. We provide the necessary equations for use of the model of Farquhar et al. (1980) with our newly derived temperature functions for predicting both Rubisco- and RuBP-limited photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1419-1430
Number of pages12
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Global change
  • Mathematical model
  • Photosynthesis
  • Rubisco
  • Temperature response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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