Acclimation of respiratory temperature responses in northern and southern populations of Pinus banksiana

M. G. Tjoelker, Jacek Oleksyn, G. Lorenc-Plucinska, Peter B Reich

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• Temperature acclimation of respiration may contribute to climatic adaptation and thus differ among populations from contrasting climates. • Short-term temperature responses of foliar dark respiration were measured in 33-yr-old trees of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) in eight populations of wide-ranging origin (44-55°N) grown in a common garden at 46.7°N. It was tested whether seasonal adjustments in respiration and population differences in this regard resulted from changes in base respiration rate at 5°C (R 5) or Q10 (temperature sensitivity) and covaried with nitrogen and soluble sugars. • In all populations, acclimation was manifest primarily through shifts in R5 rather than altered Q10. R5 was higher in cooler periods in late autumn and winter and lower in spring and summer, inversely tracking variation in ambient air temperature. Overall, R5 covaried with sugars and not with nitrogen. Although acclimation was comparable among all populations, the observed seasonal ranges in R5 and Q10 were greater in populations originating from warmer than from colder sites. Population differences in respiratory traits appeared associated with autumnal cold hardening. • Common patterns of respiratory temperature acclimation among biogeographically diverse populations provide a basis for predicting respiratory carbon fluxes in a wide-ranging species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Adaptation
  • Carbohydrates
  • Climate change
  • Jack pine (Pinus banksiana)
  • Nitrogen
  • Q
  • Respiration
  • Temperature acclimation


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