Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
Research article
12 Mar 2014
Research article |  | 12 Mar 2014

CO2 uptake of a mature Acacia mangium plantation estimated from sap flow measurements and stable carbon isotope discrimination

H. Wang, P. Zhao, L. L. Zou, H. R. McCarthy, X. P. Zeng, G. Y. Ni, and X. Q. Rao

Abstract. A simple, nondestructive method for the estimation of canopy CO2 uptake is important for understanding the CO2 exchange between forest and atmosphere. Canopy CO2 uptake (FCO2) of a subtropical mature \textit{A. mangium} plantation was estimated by combining sap flow measurements and stable carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) in Southern China from 2004 to 2007. The mechanistic relationship linking FCO2, Δ in leaf sap, and sap flow-based canopy stomatal conductance (Gs) was applied in our study. No significant seasonal variations were observed in Δ or in the ratio of the intercellular and ambient CO2 concentrations (Ci/Ca), although diurnal Ci/Ca varied between sunlit and shaded leaves. A sensitivity analysis showed that estimates of FCO2 were more sensitive to dynamics in Gs than in Ca and Δ. By using seasonally and canopy averaged Ci/Ca values, we obtained an acceptable estimate of FCO2 compared to other estimates. FCO2 exhibited similar diurnal variation to that of Gs. Large seasonal variation in FCO2 was attributed to the responsiveness of Gs to vapor pressure deficit, photosynthetically active radiation, and soil moisture deficit. Our estimate of FCO2 for a mature A. mangium plantation (2.13 ± 0.40 gC m−2 d−1) approached the lower range of values for subtropical mixed forests, probably due to lower mean canopy stomatal conductance, higher Ci/Ca, and greater tree height than other measured forests. Our estimate was also lower than values determined by satellite-based modeling or carbon allocation studies, suggesting the necessity of stand level flux data for verification. Qualitatively, the sap flux/stable isotope results compared well with gas exchange results. Differences in results between the two approaches likely reflected variability due to leaf position and age, which should be reduced for the combined sap flux and isotope technique, as it uses canopy average values of Gs and Ci/Ca.

Final-revised paper