Leaf respiration (GlobResp) - global trait database supports Earth System Models

TitleLeaf respiration (GlobResp) - global trait database supports Earth System Models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWullschleger, Stan, Jeffery M. Warren, and Peter E. Thornton
JournalNew Phytologist
Pagination483 - 485
Date PublishedJan-04-2015

Collaboration occurs when people envision an outcome that is greater than any one person can accomplish alone. In science, researchers collaborate so that they can complement existing disciplinary expertise, gain access to specialized equipment, or expand the depth and breadth of datasets that can be used to derive new knowledge. Motivated by this latter objective, Atkin et al. (2015; this issue of New Phytologist, pp. 614–636) compiled a global database (GlobResp) that details rates of leaf dark respiration and associated traits from sites that span Arctic tundra to tropical forests. This compilation builds upon earlier research (Reich et al., 1998; Wright et al., 2006) and was supplemented by recent field campaigns and unpublished data. In keeping with other trait databases, GlobResp provides insights on how physiological traits, especially rates of dark respiration, vary as a function of environment and how that variation can be used to inform terrestrial biosphere models and land surface components of Earth System Models. Although an important component of plant and ecosystem carbon (C) budgets (Wythers et al., 2013), respiration has only limited representation in models. Seen through the eyes of a plant scientist, Atkin et al. 2015 give readers a unique perspective on the climatic controls on respiration, thermal acclimation and evolutionary adaptation of dark respiration, and insights into the covariation of respiration with other leaf traits.