Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 125, Issue 6, pp 735–748 | Cite as

Vertical variation in leaf gas exchange parameters for a Southeast Asian tropical rainforest in Peninsular Malaysia

  • Yoshiko Kosugi
  • Satoru Takanashi
  • Naoto Yokoyama
  • Elizabeth Philip
  • Mai Kamakura
Regular Paper


Vertical variation in leaf gas exchange characteristics of trees grown in a lowland dipterocarp forest in Peninsular Malaysia was investigated. Maximum net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and electron transport rate of leaves at the upper canopy, lower canopy, and forest floor were studied in situ with saturated condition photosynthetic photon flux density. The dark respiration rate of leaves at the various heights was also studied. Relationships among gas exchange characteristics, and also with nitrogen content per unit leaf area and leaf dry matter per area were clearly detected, forming general equations representing the vertical profile of several important parameters related to gas exchange. Numerical analysis revealed that the vertical distribution of gas exchange parameters was well determined showing both larger carbon gain for the whole canopy and at the same time positive carbon gain for the leaves of the lowest layer. For correct estimation of gas exchange at both leaf and canopy scales using multi-layer models, it is essential to consider the vertical distribution of gas exchange parameters with proper scaling coefficients.


Tropical rainforest Net assimilation rate Stomatal conductance Electron transport rate Leaf respiration rate LMA 



We thank the Forestry Department of Negeri Sembilan and the Director General of FRIM for giving us permission to work in the Pasoh Forest Reserve. Mr. Quah Eng Seng helped in identification of species, Dr. Tamon Yamashita provided information on soil properties, Dr. Kaoru Niiyama provided biometric observations and LAI data obtained in this forest reserve, Dr. Naoko Matsuo and Mr. Kenta Nakagawa helped with fieldwork, and Mr. Shuhei Kanemitsu helped in chemical analysis of the leaf samples. We also thank Dr. Makoto Tani, Dr. Abdul Rahim Nik, Dr. Abdul Rahman Kassim, and Dr. Toshinori Okuda, and a joint research project between FRIM, University Putra Malaysia (UPM), and the National Institute of Environmental Science (NIES). This research was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion Science (JSPS). Two reviewers provided valuable comments, including information on several important references, which greatly helped in improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiko Kosugi
    • 1
  • Satoru Takanashi
    • 2
  • Naoto Yokoyama
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Philip
    • 3
  • Mai Kamakura
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Forest Hydrology, Division of Environmental Science and Technology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Forest Research Institute MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.KYOUSEI Science Center for Life and NatureNara Women’s UniversityNaraJapan

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