Canopy photosynthetic capacity drives contrasting age dynamics of resource use efficiencies between mature temperate evergreen and deciduous forests.

Academic Article


  • Forest resource use efficiencies (RUEs) can vary with tree age, but the nature of these trends and their underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Understanding the age dynamics of forest RUEs and their drivers is vital for assessing the trade-offs between forest functions and resource consumption, making rational management policy, and projecting ecosystem carbon dynamics. Here we used the FLUXNET2015 and AmeriFlux datasets and published literature to explore the age-dependent variability of forest light use efficiency (LUE) and inherent water use efficiency as well as their main regulatory variables in temperate regions. Our results showed that evergreen forest RUEs initially increased before reaching the mature stage (i.e., around 90 years old), and then gradually declined; in contrast, RUEs continuously increased with age for mature deciduous forests. Changing canopy photosynthetic capacity (Amax) was the primary cause of age-related changes in RUEs across temperate forest sites. More importantly, soil nitrogen (N) increased in mature deciduous forests through time but decreased in older evergreen forests. The age-dependent changes in soil N were closely linked with the age dynamics of Amax for mature temperate forests. Additionally, soil nutrient conditions played a greater role in deciduous forest RUEs than evergreen forest RUEs. This study highlights the importance of stand age and forest type on temperate forest RUEs over the long term.
  • Authors

  • Xu, Hang
  • Xiao, Jingfeng
  • Zhang, Zhiqiang
  • Ollinger, Scott
  • Hollinger, David Y
  • Pan, Yude
  • Wan, Jiaming
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2020
  • Published In


  • Ecosystem
  • Forests
  • Photosynthesis
  • Soil
  • Trees
  • age pattern
  • eddy covariance
  • light use efficiency
  • maximum photosynthetic capacity
  • soil nitrogen
  • temperate forests
  • water use efficiency
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 33245613
  • Start Page

  • 6156
  • End Page

  • 6167
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 11