Can we estimate forest gross primary production from leaf lifespan? A test in a young Fagus crenata forest

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It has been well established that leaf longevity is linked to the carbon economy of plants. We used this relationship to predict leaf lifetime carbon gains from leaf lifespan, and estimated the gross primary production (GPP) of a young deciduous forest of Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) located in central Japan. The light-saturated photosynthetic rates of the leaves were measured repeatedly during the growing season. We used the leaf lifespan to calculate the conversion coefficient from the light-saturated photosynthetic rate into the realized leaf lifetime carbon gain under field conditions. The leaf turnover rate was estimated using litter traps. GPP was estimated as the product of lifetime carbon gain per unit of leaf mass, and the annual leaf turnover rate. The GPP of the forest in 2007 was estimated to be , which was within the range of previously reported GPP values of beech forests in Japan, and was close to the GPP of a European beech forest, as estimated by eddy flux measurements.


  • Journal of Ecology and Environment

    Journal of Ecology and Environment 33(3), 253-260, 2016-02

    The Ecological Society of Korea


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