Ecophysiological traits in C3 and C4 grasses:a phylogenetically controlled screening experiment

Taylor, Samuel H. and Hulme, Stephen P. and Rees, Mark and Ripley, Brad S. and Ian Woodward, F. and Osborne, Colin P. (2010) Ecophysiological traits in C3 and C4 grasses:a phylogenetically controlled screening experiment. New Phytologist, 185 (3). pp. 780-791. ISSN 0028-646X

Full text not available from this repository.


Experimental evidence demonstrates a higher efficiency of water and nitrogen use in C4 compared with C3 plants, which is hypothesized to drive differences in biomass allocation between C3 and C4 species. However, recent work shows that contrasts between C3 and C4 grasses may be misinterpreted without phylogenetic control. Here, we compared leaf physiology and growth in multiple lineages of C3 and C4 grasses sampled from a monophyletic clade, and asked the following question: which ecophysiological traits differ consistently between photosynthetic types, and which vary among lineages? C 4 species had lower stomatal conductance and water potential deficits, and higher water-use efficiency than C3 species. Photosynthesis and nitrogen-use efficiency were also greater in C4 species, varying markedly between clades. Contrary to previous studies, leaf nitrogen concentration was similar in C4 and C3 types. Canopy mass and area were greater, and root mass smaller, in the tribe Paniceae than in most other lineages. The size of this phylogenetic effect on biomass partitioning was greater in the C4 NADP-me species than in species of other types. Our results show that the phylogenetic diversity underlying C 4 photosynthesis is critical to understanding its functional consequences. Phylogenetic bias is therefore a crucial factor to be considered when comparing the ecophysiology of C3 and C4 species.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
New Phytologist
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
27 Feb 2017 16:44
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:03