Leaf photosynthesis and respiration of three bioenergy crops in relation to temperature and leaf nitrogen: how conserved are biochemical model parameters among crop species?
Given the need for parallel increases in food and energy production from crops in the context of global change, crop simulation models and data sets to feed these models with photosynthesis and respiration parameters are increasingly important. This study provides information on photosynthesis and respiration for three energy crops (sunflower, kenaf, and cynara), reviews relevant information for five other crops (wheat, barley, cotton, tobacco, and grape), and assesses how conserved photosynthesis parameters are among crops. Using large data sets and optimization techniques, the C-3 leaf photosynthesis model of Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry (FvCB) and an empirical night respiration model for tested energy crops accounting for effects of temperature and leaf nitrogen were parameterized. Instead of the common approach of using information on net photosynthesis response to CO2 at the stomatal cavity (A(n)-C-i), the model was parameterized by analysing the photosynthesis response to incident light intensity (A(n)-I-inc). Convincing evidence is provided that the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate or the maximum electron transport rate was very similar whether derived from A(n)-C-i or from A(n)-I-inc data sets. Parameters characterizing Rubisco limitation, electron transport limitation, the degree to which light inhibits leaf respiration, night respiration, and the minimum leaf nitrogen required for photosynthesis were then determined. Model predictions were validated against independent sets. Only a few FvCB parameters were conserved among crop species, thus species-specific FvCB model parameters are needed for crop modelling. Therefore, information from readily available but underexplored A(n)-I-inc data should be re-analysed, thereby expanding the potential of combining classical photosynthetic data and the biochemical model.