Scaling up from Leaves to Whole Plants and Canopies for Photosynthetic Gas Exchange

  • Frederick C. Meinzer
  • Guillermo Goldstein


ZA gap in interpretation and understanding currently exists between two expanding databases on photosynthetic gas exchange behavior obtained from tropical forests. One of these databases is derived from observations of ecophysiological behavior at the single leaf scale using leaf chambers, and the other is derived from observations of micro-meteorological properties of entire forest canopies. Bridging this gap is important for understanding the influence of species composition and individual species characteristics on ecosystem function. In agricultural crops and other vegetation characterized by one or few dominant species, scaling from the leaf directly to the canopy and higher levels may capture enough detail to link quantitatively variations in gaseous fluxes from vegetation to the behavior of individual leaves. In species-diverse tropical forests, however, direct scaling from leaf to canopy and larger scales may result in considerable loss of information concerning the role of a particular species in regulating fluxes of water vapor, CO2, and heat between vegetation and the atmosphere.


Leaf Area Stomatal Conductance Leaf Surface Total Leaf Area Unit Leaf Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick C. Meinzer
  • Guillermo Goldstein

There are no affiliations available

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