The Open UniversitySkip to content

Phosphorus recycling in photorespiration maintains high photosynthetic capacity in woody species

Ellsworth, David S.; Crous, Kristine Y.; Lambers, Hans and Cooke, Julia (2015). Phosphorus recycling in photorespiration maintains high photosynthetic capacity in woody species. Plant, Cell & Environment, 38(6) pp. 1142–1156.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (529kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Leaf photosynthetic CO2 responses can provide insight into how major nutrients, such as phosphorus (P), constrain leaf CO2 assimilation rates (Anet). However, triose-phosphate limitations are rarely employed in the classic photosynthesis model and it is uncertain as to what extent these limitations occur in field situations. In contrast to predictions from biochemical theory of photosynthesis, we found consistent evidence in the field of lower Anet in high [CO2] and low [O2] than at ambient [O2]. For 10 species of trees and shrubs across a range of soil P availability in Australia, none of them showed a positive response of Anet at saturating [CO2] (i.e. Amax) to 2 kPa O2. Three species showed >20% reductions in Amax in low [O2], a phenomenon potentially explained by orthophosphate (Pi) savings during photorespiration. These species, with largest photosynthetic capacity and Pi > 2 mmol P m−2, rely the most on additional Pi made available from photorespiration rather than species growing in P-impoverished soils. The results suggest that rarely used adjustments to a biochemical photosynthesis model are useful for predicting Amax and give insight into the biochemical limitations of photosynthesis rates at a range of leaf P concentrations. Phosphate limitations to photosynthetic capacity are likely more common in the field than previously considered.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltds
ISSN: 1365-3040
Keywords: low oxygen concentration; nitrogen; phosphorus; phosphate limitations; photosynthesis; carbon reactions; sclerophyll trees
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 43284
Depositing User: Julia Cooke
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 09:39
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:55
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU