Soil CO2 Dynamics in a Tree Island Soil of the Pantanal: The Role of Soil Water Potential
Most models of photosynthetic activity assume that temperature is the dominant control over physiological processes. Recent studies have found, however, that photoperiod is a better descriptor than temperature of the seasonal variability of photosynthetic physiology at the leaf scale. Incorporating photoperiodic control into global models consequently improves their representation of the seasonality and magnitude of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The role of photoperiod versus that of temperature in controlling the seasonal variability of photosynthetic function at the canopy scale remains unexplored. We quantified the seasonal variability of ecosystem-level light response curves using nearly 400 site years of eddy covariance data from over eighty Free Fair-Use sites in the FLUXNET database. Model parameters describing maximum canopy CO2 uptake and the initial slope of the light response curve peaked after peak temperature in about 2/3 of site years examined, emphasizing the important role of temperature in controlling seasonal photosynthetic function. Akaike’s Information Criterion analyses indicated that photoperiod should be included in models of seasonal parameter variability in over 90 % of the site years investigated here, demonstrating that photoperiod also plays an important role in controlling seasonal photosynthetic function. We also performed a Granger causality analysis on both gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) and GEP normalized by photosynthetic photon flux density (GEP n ). While photoperiod Granger-caused GEP and GEP n in 99 and 92 % of all site years, respectively, air temperature Granger-caused GEP in a mere 32 % of site years but Granger-caused GEP n in 81 % of all site years. Results demonstrate that incorporating photoperiod may be a logical step toward improving models of ecosystem carbon uptake, but not at the expense of including enzyme kinetic-based temperature constraints on canopy-scale photosynthesis.