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Table of Content
    Volume 41 Issue 6
    10 June 2017

    The scenery of Sibiraea angustata shrub at the eastern fringe of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau in China (Photographed by YANG Xiao-Cheng). He et al. studied the impacts of different nitrogen fertilization treatments on root exudation rates and carbon fluxes of S. angustata shrub using a modified culture-based cuvette system developed for root exudation in situ collection (Pages 610–621 of this issue).

    190327/20190327134103_574.pdf" target="_blank">Cover and contents of Vol. 41, No. 8, 2017

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    Research Articles
    Soil microbial biomass and its seasonality in deciduous broadleaved forests with different stand ages in the Mao’ershan region, Northeast China
    Xin-Qi WANG, Yi HAN, Chuan-Kuan WANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  597-609.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0011
    Abstract ( 380 )   HTML ( 17 )   PDF (1440KB) ( 601 )   Save
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    Aims Soil microbes play a key role in the biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and are important for the nutrient recovery of degraded soils due to disturbances. However, dynamics in soil microbial biomass during the development of the secondary forest after logging are little known. Our objectives were to examine the temporal dynamics and influencing factors of soil microbial biomass carbon content (Cmic) and nitrogen content (Nmic) along a temperate forest logging chronosequence.Methods The logging chronosequence included four sites with 0-year, 10-year, 25-year, and 56-year sites since clear cutting of a deciduous broadleaved forest and was established in 2014 in the Mao’ershan Forest Ecosystem Research Station, Northeast China. The Cmic and Nmic at all the sites were measured monthly during the growing season (from April to October) with the chloroform fumigation extraction method; the soil dissolved organic carbon content (Cdis), total nitrogen content (Ndis), soil water content and temperature were simultaneously measured. Important findings (1) There were significant differences in soil microbial biomass among the four sites: the means of Cmic at the 56-year and 0-year sites were significantly higher than those at the 25-year and 10-year sites; the means of Nmic at the 0-year and 56-year sites were significantly higher than those at the 10-year site, while the 25-year site had intermediate Nmic; The Cmic/Nmic ratios at the 56-year and 10-year sites were significantly higher than those at the 25-year and 0-year sites. (2) The Cmic and Nmic at the 0-year site tended to decrease at the end of the growing season compared to earlier times, while those at the rest sites showed an increasing trend or no significant change. Soil microbial biomass among the 10-year, 25-year, and 56-year sites differed at the early growing season, and its amplitude of variations decreased as the stand age increased. The Cmic/Nmic ratios at all sites showed a “W-shaped” seasonal pattern. (3) The main influencing factors of the seasonality of soil microbial biomass varied with the stand ages: they switched from soil water content at the 0-year and 10-year sites to the soil dissolved nutrients contents at the 10-year, 25-year, and 56-year sites. The seasonality of Cmic/Nmic ratios at the 0-year site was mainly influenced by soil temperature and Cdis, while those at the other three sites were driven by the Cdis/Ndisratio. It was concluded that with the forest development after clear cutting, the characteristics of vegetation and soil have been changing, inducing increased soil microbial biomass and thereby improved soil nutrient regime, which reflected strong links between aboveground changes in vegetation and belowground dynamics in soil microbes.

    Effects of nitrogen enrichment on root exudative carbon inputs in Sibiraea angustata shrubbery at the eastern fringe of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau
    Wei HE, Xue-Ying YANG, Juan XIAO, Zi-Liang ZHANG, Zheng JIANG, Yuan-Shuang YUAN, Dong WANG, Qing LIU, Hua-Jun YIN
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  610-621.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0329
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    Aims Understanding the responses of root exudative carbon (C) to increasing nitrogen deposition is important for predicting carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, fewer studies have investigated the dynamics of root exudation in shrubbery ecosystems compared to forests and grassland ecosystems. This objective of this study was to determine the effects of nitrogen fertilization on the rate and C flux of root exudates.Methods Three levels of nitrogen addition treatments were applied to a Sibiraea angustata shrubbery ecosystem situated at the eastern fringe of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, including N0 (without nitrogen application), N5 (nitrogen addition rate of 5 g·m-2·a-1), and N10 (nitrogen addition rate of 10 g·m-2·a-1), respectively, in 5 m ´ 5 m plots. Root exudates were collected in June, August and October of 2015, using a modified culture-based cuvette system. Root biomass in each plot was measured with root core method.Important findings The rates of root exudates on biomass, length, and surface area basis all displayed apparent seasonal variations during the experimental period, with the magnitude ranked in the order of: August > June > October, consistent with changes in soil temperature at 5 cm depth. With increases in the nitrogen addition rate, the rate of root exudates on biomass, length, and area basis all trended lower. Compared with the control (N0), the N5 and N10 treatments significantly reduced fine root biomass in the Sibiraea angustata shrubbery, by 23.36% and 33.84%, respectively. The decreasing root exudation and fine root biomass in response to nitrogen addition significantly decreased C flux of root exudates. Our results provide additional evidences toward a robust theoretical foundation for better understanding soil C-nutrient cycling process mediated by root exudation inputs in Alpine shrubbery ecosystems under various environmental changes.

    Effects of localized nitrogen supply treatments on growth and root parameters in Pinus massoniana families under phosphorus deficiency
    Ping SONG, Rui ZHANG, Zhi-Chun ZHOU, Jian-She TONG, Hui WANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  622-631.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0260
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    Aims A heterogeneous spatially distribution of nutrients in natural soil may affect plant growth. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of localized nitrogen (N) supply treatments on growth traits and root parameters among different families in Pinus massoniana.Methods Five families of P. massoniana seedlings from full-sib progenies were used as test materials (1, 25, 49, 52, and 57). This study included two conditions, (i.e. homogeneous phosphorus (P) deficiency vs. heterogeneous P efficiency) among soil layers in combination with four N supply treatments in a one-year pot experiment. These N supply treatments were: (1) Homogeneously high N along the soil profile (HHH); (2) high N-high N-low N (HHL); (3) low N-low N-high N (LLH); (4) low N-low N-on side with N addition and the other side without N supply (LLH/L).Important findings This study indicated that localized N supply treatment did enhance the growth of P. massoniana, and this enhancement mainly happened in the pattern of N applied to deep soil. The results showed: 1) Compared to the homogeneous low P condition, there were increase in the growth traits and root parameters of P. massoniana under heterogeneous low P condition. Particularly, the root length and root surface area under the heterogeneous P deficiency condition were 1.95 times and 2.11 times higher than that subjected to the homogeneous P deficiency. 2) Localized N supply treatment affected seedling growth, and there was a significant interaction among N supply pattern and P condition. In compared with homogeneous N supply treatment, the height, basal diameter and dry weight of seedlings increased significantly by localized N supply treatments (LLH and/or LLH/L) under both two P deficiency conditions. But when the seedlings parameters were enhanced under homogeneous P deficiency, they were inhibited under heterogeneous P deficiency subjected to HHL. 3) Within the two P conditions, LLH and LLH/L stimulated root proliferation significantly, and root parameters were significantly enhanced under the heterogeneous P deficiency condition. Specifically, the root length and root surface area subjected to LLH/L rather than HHH were significantly enhanced by 29.2% and 32.3%, respectively. However, the length and surface area of the roots were suppressed by HHL treatment. 4). There were significant differences in response to different N supply treatments among P. massoniana families Seedlings in the families of 49, 52, and 57 responded to the localized N supply treatments with increased root proliferation, which enhanced seedling dry mass. On the other hand, the seedling growth in the family of 25 were stimulated by N and (or) P concentration, while the response of seedlings in the family of 1 to local nitrogen supply was relatively slow and exhibited growth retardation.

    Effects of storage conditions on total carbon and nitrogen contents of soil and plant samples
    Ya-Han CHEN, Zong-Qiang XIE
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  632-638.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0286
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    Aims The storage of soil and plant samples has important significance for ecological studies, but has not been widely used. This study aims to compare total carbon/nitrogen content of soil and plant samples before and after long term storage, and further to investigate the feasibility of archiving samples for time series ecological studies at large temporal scales.Methods Soil and plant samples were collected in the growing season in 2011. Carbon/nitrogen mass fraction were analyzed after four years of storage, and were compared with the data obtained before storage using pairwise t-test and linear regression.Important findings Nitrogen mass fractions of stored samples were linearly correlated to the data before storage along the 1:1 line under different storage conditions, and the correlation coefficient r was greater than 0.98 (except for soil samples stored at temperature lower than 20 °C and with particle size <2 mm, r = 0.91). The carbon mass fraction after storage was changed by the storage conditions. Carbon mass fractions of stored samples with particle size <0.15 mm were linearly correlated to the data before storage along the 1:1 line (r > 0.98). Carbon mass fractions of samples with particle size <2 mm increased after storage, and the slope of the linear relationship was 1.26 and 1.04 for soil and plant samples respectively. These results indicated that, nitrogen content of stored samples was stable under different storage conditions, while the stability of carbon content was affected by sample particle size but by storage temperature. Archived samples used for carbon/nitrogen analysis were suggested to be ground to particle size <0.15 mm under fully dry and completely sealed conditions.

    Effects of leachate from understory medicinal plants on litter decomposition and soil enzyme activities of Betula albo-sinensis and Eucommia ulmoides
    Yu-Peng LU, Ji-Yuan XU, Xiao-Xi ZHANG, Bo-Ya WANG, Bo XIE, Zeng-Wen LIU
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  639-649.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0350
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    Aims Forest litter decomposition is an important factor affecting nutrient cycling and ecosystem stability. In a complex system with forest and understory medicinal plants, leachate from the medicinal plants enriched in plant secondary metabolites (PSM) may inhibit litter decomposition and soil enzyme activity of forest trees. Thus, inspection on whether or not this phenomenon exits is one important basis for selecting understory medicinal plants.Methods In this paper, typical forest species Betula albo-sinensis and Eucommia ulmoides and six species of common medicinal plants (Corydalis bungeana, Mentha haplocalyx, Houttuynia cordata, Nepeta cataria, Gynostemma pentaphyllum and Prunella vulgaris) in Qinling Mountains area were taken as objects, and the litter decomposition experiment was carried out. The leachate (water-extraction solution) from the stems and leaves of the medicinal materials were sprayed onto the litter in order to study the effects of leachate from understory plants on forests litter decomposition, nutrient release (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) and soil enzyme activity.Important findings For litter of B. albo-sinensis, the decomposition half-life and the turnover period were extended by 76% and 4.3 times, respectively, under H. cordata leachate treatment and the inhibitory effects on the release of carbon and nitrogen were also significant. While under G. pentaphyllum leachate treatment, the half-life of litter decomposition and turnover period were extended by 35% and 2.7 times, respectively, and the inhibitory effects on the release of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus were all significant. The leachate from these two species of medicinal plants displayed significant inhibitory effects on seven kinds of soil enzymes (invertase, carboxymethyl cellulase, β-glucosidase, dehydrogenase, polyphenol oxidase, protease and phosphatase) activity. For litter of E. ulmoides, the decomposition half-life and the turnover period were extended by 1.7 times and 4.2 times respectively, under H. cordata leachate treatment; while they were extended by 1 times and 9 times respectively, under G. pentaphyllum leachate treatment. The leachate from these two species of medicinal plants displayed significant inhibitory effects on the release of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus from litter decomposition and the activities of all seven kinds of soil enzymes. Therefore, results suggested that H. cordata and G. pentaphyllum should not be planted under B. albo-sinensis and E. ulmoides forests, or the interplanting density must be low to reduce the inhibitory effects of litter decomposition.

    Effect of stem length to stem slender ratio of current-year twigs on the leaf display efficiency in evergreen and deciduous broadleaved trees
    Jun-Hui LI, Guo-Quan PENG, Dong-Mei YANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  650-660.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0376
    Abstract ( 292 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (1061KB) ( 542 )   Save
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    Aims Branches and leaves are the two main structural units of tree crown composition. Among the adaptive strategies of plants, the functional traits of branches and the relationships between branch traits and leaf traits determine the capacity of trees to access light and space. In this study, our objective is to test the hypothesis that leaf display efficiency is affected by the stem length to stem slender ratio within current-year twigs.Methods The stem length to stem slender ratios of current-year twigs were used as the proxy of stem structure traits. Leaf area ratio (total leaf area per stem mass), leaf density (leaf number per stem length) and leaf/stem mass ratio (total leaf mass per stem mass) were used as the proxies of leaf display efficiency. The relationship between stem structure traits and leaf display efficiency within current-year twigs were studied for 25 evergreen and 60 deciduous broadleaved woody species in Qingliang Mountain, Zhejiang, China. The standardized major axis estimation method was used to examine the scaling relationship between stem structural traits and leaf display efficiency within current-year twigs.Important findings The proxies of leaf display efficiency, measured by leaf area ratio, leaf density or leaf/stem mass ratio, were all significantly and negative correlated with stem length to stem slender ratio within current-year twigs in both evergreen and deciduous broadleaved woody species. This suggested that leaf display efficiency decreased with stem length to stem slender ratios within current-year twigs, which may reflect the role of mechanical safety and light within twigs. The slope of the relationship between leaf display efficiency and stem long-dimension structure traits in evergreen species was not significantly different from the one in deciduous species. In contrast, the y-intercept of the relationship between leaf density and stem long-dimension structure traits was significantly larger in evergreen species than in deciduous species, i.e. the leafing intensity of evergreen species was higher than that of deciduous species. Individual leaf area and specific leaf area were smaller in evergreen species than in deciduous species, which resulted in deciduous species have a larger leaf area per stem mass and leaf mass per stem mass at a given stem length to stem slender ratio compared to evergreen species. It may reflect the conservative adaptive strategy of high consumption and slow benefit in evergreen species. Our results demonstrated that leaf display efficiency could be affected by stem length, and would change with leaf life-span (deciduous versus evergreen).

    Canopy structure and radiation interception of Salix matsudana: Stand density dependent relationships
    Jing CHEN, Cheng-Zhang ZHAO, Ji-Wei WANG, Lian-Chun ZHAO
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  661-669.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0257
    Abstract ( 292 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (1048KB) ( 530 )   Save
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    Aims Plants can enhance their photosynthetic efficiency and competitiveness by adjusting canopy structure and radiation interception. The objective of this paper was to quantify the relationship between canopy structure (crown depth and crown area) and light interception (LI) in a Salix matsudana stand under three different stand densities in a flood plain of Zhangye.Methods Our study site is located at the Heihe flood plain of Xichengyi in Ganzhou district, Zhangye City, Gansu Province in the middle Heihe River, where S. matsudana is the dominant species. Based on stand density (10 m × 10 m), the S. matsudana community is divided into three types: low density (I, 25-36 Ind.·plot-1), medium density (II, 37-48 Ind.·plot-1), and high density (III, 49-60 Ind.·plot-1). Community characteristics, soil physical and chemical properties of each type were measured. At each plot, we measured photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), LI, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr), crown depth, crown area, leaf area index (LAI), twig numbers, twig length, and bifurcation angle. The standardized major axis (SMA) estimation method was used to determine the relationships between LI and canopy structure.Important findings With increasing in stand density, we found that soil moisture increased, and soil electric conductivity decreased, while twig length and crown depth increased, and PAR, twig numbers, bifurcation angle and crown area decreased. LAI and LI, Pn and Tr reached their maximum at the stand of medium density. There was a significant, positive correlation and negative correlation (p < 0.01), respectively, between the LI, crown depth and crown area at low density (I), whereas low significant (p < 0.05) at high density (III), and high significantly positive correlation (p < 0.01) at the medium density (II). S. matsudana has more horizontal branches that reduce LI. Canopy thickness and increased crown area at low density. More vertical distribution of branches at high density, and a more balanced spacial distribution were found at medium density.

    Characteristics and partitioning of ozone dry deposition measured by eddy-covariance technology in a winter wheat field
    Jing-Xin XU, You-Fei ZHENG, Bo-Ru MAI, Hui ZHAO, Zhong-Fang CHU, Ji-Qing HUANG, Yue YUAN
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  670-682.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0287
    Abstract ( 293 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (1637KB) ( 623 )   Save
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    Aims Anthropogenic pollutants cause an increase in ground-level ozone concentration, which is a known threat to plant growth and yield and has been extensively observed worldwide. Since ozone is only slightly soluble in water, it is deposited mainly through dry deposition in terrestrial ecosystem. The object of this study was to analyze the characteristics of ozone dry deposition and to estimate the contribution of stomatal and non-stomatal ozone deposition pathways to total ozone deposition in a winter wheat field.Methods The research site was a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) field located in Yongfeng experimental station of Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology. The data used in this study were collected from March 16, 2016 to May 30, 2016. We observed ozone dry deposition with an eddy-covariance system. This system mainly included a 3D sonic anemometer, an open-path infrared absorption spectrometer, a fast-response ozone chemiluminescent analyzer and a slow-response ozone monitor. We simultaneously measured meteorological data including solar radiation (SR), air temperature (T), air relativity humidity (RH), wind speed, net radiation, and rainfall. All raw data were recorded with data-logger and averaged every 30 min.Important findings Half hourly means of ozone concentrations (CO3), ozone flux (FO3) and ozone dry deposition velocity (Vd) in the winter wheat field were 32.9 nL·L-1, -5.09 nmol·m-2·s-1, 0.39 cm·s-1, and the ranges of them were 16-58 nL·L-1, -2.9- -11.7 nmol·m-2·s-1, 0.17-0.63 cm·s-1, respectively. FO3 and CO3/Vd were found to be mismatched with phase peaks occurring at different time intervals. The ecosystem was more effective on ozone dry deposition, under conditions of moderate to high SR (SR ≥ 400 W·m-2), moderate T and humility (T = 18 °C and RH > 40%). The relationship between Vdmax and SR was this function (y = 1.06 -exp (-0.0094 - x)). Vdmax increased with SR When SR < 400 W·m-2, and Vdmax reached its maximum when SR =400 W·m-2. Vdmax maintained its maximum when SR ≥ 400 W·m-2. The relationship between Vdmax and T was “bell” curve (y = 1.06 - (x - 18)2/169). Vdmax reached its maximum when T = 18 °C. Vdmax decreased with RH when RH < 40 % (y = 0.030x - 0.106). The variation of Vd might uncertainty when RH was high. There was a liner positive relationship between friction velocity (u*) and Vd, but this relationship was not significant. The mean day-to-day and daytime contributions of stomatal and non-stomatal ozone deposition pathway to total ozone deposition were 32%, 68% and 42%, 58%, respectively, during the whole experimental period.

    Metabolic responses of wheat roots to alkaline stress
    Rui GUO, Ji ZHOU, Fan YANG, Feng LI
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  683-692.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0136
    Abstract ( 385 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (1188KB) ( 664 )   Save
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    Aims The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of alkaline stress on primary, secondary metabolites and metabolic pathways in the roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum). The results were used to evaluate the physiological adaptive mechanisms by which wheat tolerated alkali stress.Methods A pot experiment was carried out in the greenhouse. For each plastic pot, five wheat seeds were planted. After germination, seedlings were allowed to grow under controlled water and nutrient conditions for two months, then seedlings were exposed to alkaline stress (NaHCO3-Na2CO3) for 12 days. The relative growth rate (RGR), absolute water content (AWC), metal elements, free cations and metabolites were measured.Important findings The alkaline stress caused the reduction of RGR and AWC. Alkaline stress caused a rapid increase of Na content with the concurrent decrease in K and Cl content, resulting in inhibited metal element accumulation and an ionic imbalance. In the present study, alkaline stress strongly enhanced Ca accumulation in wheat roots, suggesting that an increased Ca concentration can immediately trigger the salt overly sensitive (SOS)-Na exclusion system and reduce Na-associated injuries. Also, 70 metabolites, including organic acids, amino acids, sugars/polyols and others, behaved differently in the alkaline stress treatments according to a GC-MS analysis. The metabolic profiles of wheat were closely associated with alkaline-stress conditions. Alkaline stress caused the accumulation of organic acids, accompanied by the depletion of sugars/polyols and amino acids. Organic acids could play a central role in the regulation of intracellular pH by accumulating vacuoles to neutralize excess cations. Glycolysis and amino acid synthesis in roots were inhibited under salt stress while prolonged alkaline stress led to a progressive tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The severe negative effects of alkaline stress on sugar synthesis and storage may reflect the toxic levels of Na+ accumulating in plant cells in a high-pH environment, implying that the reactive oxygen species detoxification capacity was diminished by the high pH. A lack of NO3- in wheat roots can decrease synthase enzyme activities, limiting the synthesis of amino acids. Under salt stress, the TCA cycle and organic acid accumulation increased, but glycolysis and amino acid synthesis were inhibited in roots. Thus, energy levels and high concentrations of organic acids may be the key adaptive mechanisms by which wheat seedlings maintain their intracellular ion balance under alkaline stress.

    Reviews
    A review on the FvCB biochemical model of photosynthesis and the measurement of A-Ci curves
    LIANG Xing-Yun, LIU Shi-Rong
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (6):  693-706.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0283
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    The biochemical model of photosynthesis proposed by Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry is a CO2 response model based on photosynthetic processes. It hypothesizes that leaf CO2 assimilation rate (A) of C3 plants is decided by the minimum of three biochemical processes: the carboxylation rate supported by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), the ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration rate supported by electron transport and the triose-phosphate (TP) use rate. Fitting leaf CO2 assimilation rate versus intercellular CO2 concentration (A-Ci) curves with the modified FvCB model could provide several important biochemical parameters, including maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate, maximum rate of electron transport, TP use rate, day respiration rate and mesophyll conductance. The FvCB model has greatly improved our understanding and prediction of plant photosynthetic physiology and its response to environmental changes. In this review, we firstly described the FvCB model, and analysed the characteristics of this model: segmentation and overparameterization. We reviewed the estimation of biochemical parameters which by fitting A-Ci curves with the FvCB model. The biochemical parameters were estimated previously by segmenting subjectively and fitting each limitation state separately, whereas now by segmenting objectively and fitting all limitation simultaneously. In comparison to the previously conventional ordinary least squares (OLS), terativgorithms (eg. Genetic Algorithm, Simulated Annealing Algorithm) based on the modern computer technology are now in common use. However, to further improve the reliability and the precision of the parameters estimation, more studies about Rubisco kinetics parameters and their temperature dependence are needed. In the end, to obtain efficient photosynthetic data for biochemical parameters estimation, we integrated and modified methods concerning the measurement of A-Ci curves according to current knowledge about FvCB model fitting. We expect this review would advance our understanding and application of the FvCB model and A-Ci curves.


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