Convergence in phosphorus constraints to photosynthesis in forests around the world

Ellsworth, David S., Crous, Kristine Y., De Kauwe, Martin G., Verryckt, Lore T., Goll, Daniel, Zaehle, Sönke, Bloomfield, Keith J., Ciais, Philippe, Cernusak, Lucas A., Domingues, Tomas F., Dusenge, Mirindi Eric, Garcia, Sabrina, Guerrieri, Rossella, Ishida, F. Yoko, Janssens, Ivan A., Kenzo, Tanaka, Ichie, Tomoaki, Medlyn, Belinda E., Meir, Patrick, Norby, Richard J., Reich, Peter B., Rowland, Lucy, Santiago, Louis S., Sun, Yan, Uddling, Johan, Walker, Anthony P., Weerasinghe, K.W. Lasantha K., van de Weg, Martine J., Zhang, Yun-Bing, Zhang, Jiao-Lin, and Wright, Ian J. (2022) Convergence in phosphorus constraints to photosynthesis in forests around the world. Nature Communications, 13. 5005.

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Tropical forests take up more carbon (C) from the atmosphere per annum by photosynthesis than any other type of vegetation. Phosphorus (P) limitations to C uptake are paramount for tropical and subtropical forests around the globe. Yet the generality of photosynthesis-P relationships underlying these limitations are in question, and hence are not represented well in terrestrial biosphere models. Here we demonstrate the dependence of photosynthesis and underlying processes on both leaf N and P concentrations. The regulation of photosynthetic capacity by P was similar across four continents. Implementing P constraints in the ORCHIDEE-CNP model, gross photosynthesis was reduced by 36% across the tropics and subtropics relative to traditional N constraints and unlimiting leaf P. Our results provide a quantitative relationship for the P dependence for photosynthesis for the front-end of global terrestrial C models that is consistent with canopy leaf measurements.

Item ID: 76353
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes
Projects and Grants: ARC DP160102452, ARC DP210100115, ARC DP190101823, ARC DP170103410, ARC CE170100023
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 03:13
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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