Predictions and Measurements of the Maximum Photosynthetic Rate, Amax, at the Global Scale

  • F. I. Woodward
  • T. M. Smith
Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (volume 100)


The study of plant photosynthesis has an exceptionally long pedigree, because photosynthesis is the primary source of chemical energy for plants, animals, and for integrated ecosystem functioning. The central importance of photosynthesis in ecology was clearly stated by Lange et al. (1987) “Thus photosynthetic primary production is not only a requirement for the single plant but the essential energy-harvesting process for the total biosphere. If we want to understand how ecosystems function, we must analyze the photosynthetic performance of the relevant plants”.


Soil Carbon Life Zone Maximum Photosynthetic Rate Physiological Plant Ecology Mycorrhizal Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abuzinadah RA, Read DJ (1986) The role of proteins in the nitrogen nutrition of ectomycorrhizal plants. I. Utilization of peptides and proteins by ectomycorrhizal fungi. New Phytol 103: 481–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abuzinadah RA, Read DJ (1989) The role of proteins in the nitrogen nutrition of ectomycorrhizal plants. V. Nitrogen transfer in birch (Betula pendula) grown in association with mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal fungi. New Phytol 112: 61–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caldwell MM, White RS, Moore RT (1977) Carbon balance, productivity, and water use of cold-winter shrub communities dominated by C3 and C4 species. Oecologia 29: 275–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ellis RP, Vogel JC, Fuls A (1980) Photosynthetic pathways and the geographical distribution of grasses in south west Africa/Namibia. S Afr J Sci 76: 307–314Google Scholar
  5. Evans JR (1989) Photosynthesis and nitrogen relationships in leaves of C3 plants. Oecologia 78: 9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Farquhar GD (1988) Models relating subcellular effects of temperature to whole plant responses. In: Long SP, Woodward FI (eds) Plants and temperature. Soc Exp Biol Symp 42: 395–409Google Scholar
  7. Farquhar GD, Caemmerer S von (1982) Modelling of photosynthetic response to environmental conditions. In: Lange OL, Nobel PS, Osmond CB, Ziegler H (eds) Encyclopedia of plant physiology, vol 12B. Physiological plant ecology, vol II. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 550–587Google Scholar
  8. Field C (1983) Allocating leaf nitrogen for the maximisation of carbon gain: leaf age as a control on the allocation program. Oecologia 56: 341–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Field C, Mooney HA (1986) The photosynthesis-nitrogen relationship in wild plants. In: Givnish TJ (ed) On the economy of form and function. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 25–55Google Scholar
  10. Friend AD, Woodward FI (1990) Evolutionary and ecophysiological responses of mountain plants to the growing season environment. Adv Ecol Res 20: 59–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harley JL, Smith SE (1983) Mycorrhizal symbiosis. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Holdridge LR (1947) Determination of world plant formations from simple climatic data. Science 105: 367–368PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holdridge LR (1967) Life zone ecology. Tropical Science Centre, Costa RicaGoogle Scholar
  14. Hunt HW, Ingham ER, Coleman DC, Elliott ET, Reid CPP (1988) Nitrogen limitation of production and decomposition in prairie, mountain meadow and pine forest. Ecology 69: 1009–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hunt HW, Trlica MJ, Redente EF, Moore JC, Detling JK, Kittel TGF, Walter DE, Fowler MC, Klein DA, Elliott ET (1991) Simulation model for the effects of climate change on temperate grassland ecosystems. Ecol Model 53: 205–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lange OL (1965) Der CO2-Gaswechsel von Flechten bei tiefen Temperaturen. Planta 64: 1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lange OL, Kilian E, Meyer A, Tenhunen JD (1984) Measurement of lichen photosynthesis in the field with a portable steady-state CO2-porometer. Lichenologist 16: 1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lange OL, Beyschlag W, Tenhunen JD (1987) Control of leaf carbon assimilation — input of chemical energy into ecosystems. In: Schulze E-D, Zwölfer H (eds) Potentials and limitations of ecosystem analysis. Ecological studies 61. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg New York, pp 149–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lawlor DW, Boyle FA, Keys AJ, Kendall AC, Young AT (1988) Nitrate nutrition and temperature effects on wheat: a synthesis of plant growth and nitrogen uptake in relation to metabolic and physiological processes. J Exp Bot 39: 329–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leemens R, Cramer W (1990) The IIASA climate database for land area on a grid of 0.5 ° resolution. WP-41, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  21. Leuning R (1990) Modeling stomatal behaviour and photosynthesis of Eucalyptus grandis. Aust J Plant Physiol 17: 159–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Livingstone DA, Clayton WD (1980) An altitudinal cline in tropical African grass floras and its paleoecological significance. Quat Res 13: 392–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Melillo JM, Callaghan TV, Woodward FI, Salati E, Sinha SK (1990) Effects on ecosystems. In: Houghton JT, Jenkins GJ, Ephraums JJ (eds) Climate change. The IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 283–310Google Scholar
  24. Millard P (1988) The accumulation and storage of nitrogen by herbaceous plants. Plant Cell Environ 11: 1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moll RH, Kamprath EJ, Jackson WA (1982) Analysis and interpretation of factors which contribute to efficiency of nitrogen utilization. Agron J 74: 562–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mooney HA, West M (1964) Photosynthetic acclimation of plants of diverse origin. Am J Bot 51: 825–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mooney HA, Strain BR, West M (1966) Photosynthetic efficiency at reduced carbon dioxide tensions. Ecology 47: 490–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pearcy RW, Ehleringer J (1984) Comparative ecophysiology of C3 and C4 plants. Plant Cell Environ 7: 1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Post WM, Emanuel WR, Zinke PJ, Stangenberger AG (1982) Soil carbon pools and world life zones. Nature 298: 156–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Post WM, Pastor J, Zinke PJ, Stangenberger AG (1985) Global patterns of soil nitrogen storage. Nature 317: 613–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Read DJ (1990) Mycorrhizas in ecosystems. Experientia 47: 376–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rendig VV, Taylor HM (1989) Principles of soil-plant interrelationships. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Schlesinger WH (1991) Biogeochemistry an analysis of global change. Academic Press, San Diego, USAGoogle Scholar
  34. Schulze E-D, Hall AE (1982) Stomatal responses, water loss and CO2 assimilation of plants in contrasting environments. In: Lange OL, Nobel PS, Osmond CB, Ziegler H (eds) Encyclopedia of plant physiology, vol 12B. Physiological plant ecology, vol II. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 181–230Google Scholar
  35. Smith TM, Shugart HH, Bonan GB, Smith JB (1992) Modeling the potential response of vegetation to global climate change. Adv Ecol Res 22: 93–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stribley DP, Read DJ (1980) The biology of mycorrhiza in the Ericacea. VII. The relationship between mycorrhizal infection and the capacity to utilize simple and complex organic nitrogen sources. New Phytol 86: 365–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wallace LL, McNaughton SJ, Coughenour MB (1982) The effects of clipping and fertilization on nitrogen nutrition and allocation by mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal Panicum coloratum L., a C4 grass. Oecologia 54: 68–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wild A (ed) (1988) Russell’s soil conditions and plant growth. Longman Scientific and Technical, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Woodward FI (1987) Climate and plant distribution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  40. Zinke PJ, Stangenberger AG, Post WM, Emanuel WR, Olson JS (1984) Worldwide organic soil carbon and nitrogen data. ORNL/TM-8857. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TennesseeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. I. Woodward
  • T. M. Smith

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations