Resource Allocation and Trade-Offs in Carbon Gain of Leaves Under Changing Environment

  • Kouki HikosakaEmail author
  • Yuko Yasumura
  • Onno Muller
  • Riichi Oguchi
Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 9)


In leaf canopies, environmental conditions such as light availability and temperature vary spatially and temporally. Plants change leaf traits such as leaf nitrogen content, leaf mass per area, leaf anatomy, photosynthetic capacity, and organization of the photosynthetic apparatus in response to the change in conditions. These changes occur because a trait that is optimal under a certain condition is not advantageous under others. When growth irradiance is high or air temperature is low, plants invest more nitrogen into ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco) rather than photosystems. Leaf nitrogen content is high under such conditions because nitrogen content that maximizes nitrogen use efficiency of daily carbon gain is higher under higher irradiance or lower temperature conditions. Leaf anatomy constrains the maximal rate of photosynthesis: leaves with higher photosynthetic rate should be thicker to allot more chloroplasts on mesophyll surface. To increase maximal photosynthetic rate after gap formation, shade leaves of some species are thicker than the minimum required for the photosynthetic rate, allowing further increase in chloroplast volume.


Photon Flux Density Leaf Trait Leaf Thickness Leaf Anatomy Shade Leave 
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.



The study was supported by KAKENHI, the Global Environment Research Fund (F-092) by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and the Global COE Program j03 (Ecosystem management adapting to global change) by the MEXT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kouki Hikosaka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuko Yasumura
    • 1
  • Onno Muller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Riichi Oguchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversityAoba, SendaiJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Bio- and Geosciences IBG-2: Plant SciencesForschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany

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