Plants' size, age impact productivity more than climate
A new study has revealed that the size and age of plants has more impact on their productivity instead of climate that has a relatively minor direct effect on net primary productivity.
University of Arizona professor Brian Enquist said that a fundamental assumption of their models for understanding how climate influenced the functioning of ecosystems was that temperature and precipitation directly influenced how fast plants could take up and use carbon dioxide.
Enquist added that essentially, warm and wet environments were thought to allow plant metabolism to run fast, while cold and drier environments slowed down metabolism and hence lower biomass production in ecosystems.
Sean Michaletz, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the UA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology said that this general relationship showed that climate did not influence productivity by changing the metabolic reaction rates underlying plant growth, but instead by determining how large plants could get and how long they could live for.
The study is published in online publication by the journal Nature.
(Posted on 21-07-2014)