Leaf and canopy photosynthesis of C3 plants at elevated CO2 in relation to optimal partitioning of nitrogen among photosynthetic components: Theoretical prediction

Kouki Hikosaka, Tadaki Hirose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of changes in the organization of photosynthetic components on leaf photosynthesis under contrasting atmospheric CO2 conditions (35 and 70 Pa) are evaluated using an optimization model, in which the photosynthetic rate is limited either by the capacity of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPCase) to consume ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) or by the capacity of RuBP regeneration. The nitrogen cost of photosynthetic components to carry out each process is calculated for the optimal partitioning of nitrogen among the components. The model predicts that nitrogen allocation to the components carrying out RuBP regeneration should be increased with reduction in allocation to RuBPCase to maximize daily photosynthesis at 70 Pa CO2. At a temperature of 25°C, doubling the current CO2 level increases daily photosynthesis by 60% with optimal reallocation of the nitrogen partitioning while the increase without reallocation of nitrogen is 40%. However, at lower growth irradiance, the advantage in daily photosynthesis due to the reallocation decreases with increasing nitrogen content. The ratio of photosynthesis at 70 Pa to that at 35 Pa increases with increasing temperature. The effects of CO2 levels on photosynthesis of a canopy in which nitrogen is optimally allocated among leaf layers are also examined. At 25°C, canopy photosynthesis at the doubled CO2 level is predicted to increase 60 and 40% with and without the optimization of nitrogen partitioning among photosynthetic components, respectively. Doubling the CO2 level does not affect the optimal nitrogen distribution among leaf layers in the canopy irrespective of optimization of nitrogen partitioning among photosynthetic components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar 1


  • CO elevation
  • Canopy photosynthesis
  • Global change
  • Model
  • Nitrogen partitioning
  • Photosynthetic acclimation
  • Photosynthetic apparatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling

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