Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 1267–1286 | Cite as

Photosynthetic characteristics and simulation of annual leaf carbon gains of hybrid poplar (Populus nigra L. × P. maximowiczii Henry) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in a temperate agroforestry system

  • Manfred Küppers
  • Dieter Schmitt
  • Susanne Liner
  • Christian Böhm
  • Michael Kanzler
  • Maik Veste


A leaf net photosynthesis model is presented driven by light and modulated by temperature and air humidity. From this the seasonal variation of CO2 uptake and release could be modelled to estimate the annual carbon fluxes of sun and shade leaves. In fully expanded leaves light is the major factor determining daily carbon balances, and highest observed daily carbon gains in sun leaves amounted to 748.9 mmol CO2 m−2 day−1 in poplar and to 536.3 mmol CO2 m−2 day−1 in black locust, while the annual carbon gains amounted to 46,824 mol CO2 m−2 in black locust and 66,803 mol CO2 m−2 in hybrid poplar. Results obtained via gas exchange measurements and from the leaf model clearly indicate a potentially better growth performance of the poplar compared to black locust on the investigated site. The presented photosynthesis model provides a good and realistic estimation for seasonal carbon balances on the leaf level for both species.


Short-rotation forestry Bioenergy Ecophysiology Carbon fluxes Photosynthesis model Leaf gas exchange 



The authors thank the Agrargenossenschaft Forst e.G. for their promotion and management of the agroforestry systems at Neu Sacro. The Institute of Botany (210a) of the University of Hohenheim supported the ecophysiological investigations, the Project “AgroForstEnergie II” (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and FNR—Fachagentur für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, Project Number: 22000312) and Vattenfall Energy Crops GmbH provided further technical and logistical support. We wish to thank to anonymous referees for their very helpful comments to improve the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BotanyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Department of Soil Protection and RecultivationBrandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-SenftenbergCottbusGermany

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