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Peatland vegetation composition and phenology drive the seasonal trajectory of maximum gross primary production

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      Abstract

      Gross primary production (GPP) is a key driver of the peatland carbon cycle. Although many studies have explored the apparent GPP under natural light conditions, knowledge of the maximum GPP at light-saturation (GPP max) and its spatio-temporal variation is limited. This information, however, is crucial since GPP max essentially constrains the upper boundary for apparent GPP. Using chamber measurements combined with an external light source across experimental plots where vegetation composition was altered through long-term (20-year) nitrogen addition and artificial warming, we could quantify GPP max in-situ and disentangle its biotic and abiotic controls in a boreal peatland. We found large spatial and temporal variations in the magnitudes of GPP max which were related to vegetation species composition and phenology rather than abiotic factors. Specifically, we identified vegetation phenology as the main driver of the seasonal GPP max trajectory. Abiotic anomalies (i.e. in air temperature and water table level), however, caused species-specific divergence between the trajectories of GPP max and plant development. Our study demonstrates that photosynthetically active biomass constrains the potential peatland photosynthesis while abiotic factors act as secondary modifiers. This further calls for a better representation of species-specific vegetation phenology in process-based peatland models to improve predictions of global change impacts on the peatland carbon cycle.

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        Various aspects of the biochemistry of photosynthetic carbon assimilation in C3 plants are integrated into a form compatible with studies of gas exchange in leaves. These aspects include the kinetic properties of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase; the requirements of the photosynthetic carbon reduction and photorespiratory carbon oxidation cycles for reduced pyridine nucleotides; the dependence of electron transport on photon flux and the presence of a temperature dependent upper limit to electron transport. The measurements of gas exchange with which the model outputs may be compared include those of the temperature and partial pressure of CO2(p(CO2)) dependencies of quantum yield, the variation of compensation point with temperature and partial pressure of O2(p(O2)), the dependence of net CO2 assimilation rate on p(CO2) and irradiance, and the influence of p(CO2) and irradiance on the temperature dependence of assimilation rate.
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          Northern Peatlands: Role in the Carbon Cycle and Probable Responses to Climatic Warming

           Eville Gorham (1991)
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8578 2742, GRID grid.6341.0, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, , Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, ; 90183 Umeå, Sweden
            [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0791 5666, GRID grid.4818.5, Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group, , Wageningen University, ; 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
            [3 ]ISNI 0000000122931605, GRID grid.5590.9, Department of Aquatic Ecology, , Radboud University Nijmegen, ; 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
            [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2312 1970, GRID grid.5132.5, Institute of Environmental Sciences, , Leiden University, ; 2333CC Leiden, The Netherlands
            [5 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2292 3357, GRID grid.14848.31, Département de géographie, , Université de Montréal, ; Montréal, QC H2V 2B8 Canada
            Contributors
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9940-5846, matthias.peichl@slu.se
            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
            2045-2322
            22 May 2018
            22 May 2018
            2018
            : 8
            29789673 5964230 26147 10.1038/s41598-018-26147-4
            © The Author(s) 2018

            Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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