# Report on non-temperature related variations in CO2 efflux rates from young tree stems in the dormant season

Authors: Saveyn, An1; Steppe, Kathy2; Lemeur, Raoul3

Source: Trees, Volume 22, Number 2, April 2008 , pp. 165-174(10)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

Respiration rates are reported to increase exponentially with temperature. Respiration rates of woody tissues are commonly measured as CO2 efflux rates ( $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ ) from that tissue. However, this paper describes clear variations in stem $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ that were not related to temperature for the case of a young beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and oak (Quercus robur L.) tree during the dormant season. The CO2 concentration ([CO2]) in the xylem of the beech tree showed similar temperature-independent variations. The trees were grown in a growth chamber in which radiation patterns and temperature were kept constant. $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ was measured with an IRGA connected to cuvettes surrounding a stem segment. Xylem [CO2] was measured in situ using a CO2 microelectrode. Depressions in $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ and [CO2] occurred during the light period, despite equal temperatures in the light and dark period. Explanations found in literature for discrepancies in the exponential relationship between temperature and $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ are the influence of (1) sap flow or (2) decreased cell water content. However, (1) the variations were observed in the dormant season, when no sap flow was observed yet, and (2) reduced cell water content was not likely to be apparent as differences in stem transpiration rates between the dark and light period were not significant. Hence, previously formulated theories failed to explain our results. This work therefore provides a new ground for discussion on other possible causes of daytime depressions in $$F_{{\rm CO}_{\rm 2}}$$ . One might be the refixation of respired CO2 by corticular photosynthesis in the stem parts adjacent to the stem segment enclosed by the cuvette.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000, Gent, Belgium, Email: an.saveyn@UGent.be 2: Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000, Gent, Belgium, Email: kathy.steppe@UGent.be 3: Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000, Gent, Belgium

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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