Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes

Brenton Ladd, Pablo Peri, David PEPPER, Lucas Silva, Douglas Sheil, Stephen Bonser, Shawn W. Laffan, Wulf Amelung, Alf Ekblad, Peter Eliasson, Hector Bahamonde, Sandra Duarte-Guardia, Michael Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. Leaf area index (LAI), a measure of canopy density, is a key variable for modelling and understanding primary productivity, and also water use and energy exchange in forest ecosystems. However, LAI varies considerably with phenology and disturbance patterns, so alternative approaches to quantifying stand-level processes should be considered. The carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter (d13CSOM) provides a time-integrated, productivity-weighted measure of physiological and stand-level processes, reflecting biomass deposition from seasonal to decadal time scales. 2. Our primary aim was to explore how well LAI correlates with d13CSOM across biomes. 3. Using a global data set spanning large environmental gradients in tropical, temperate and boreal forest and woodland, we assess the strength of the correlation between LAI and d13CSOM; we also assess climatic variables derived from the WorldClim database. 4. We found that LAI was strongly correlated with d13CSOM, but was also correlated with Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter, Mean Precipitation of Warmest Quarter and Annual Solar Radiation across and within biomes. 5. Synthesis. Our results demonstrate that d13CSOM values can provide spatially explicit estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and could therefore serve as a surrogate for productivity and water use. While d13CSOM has traditionally been used to reconstruct the relative abundance of C3 versus C4 species, the results of this study demonstrate that within stable C3- or C4-dominated biomes, d13CSOM can provide additional insights. The fact that LAI is strongly correlated to d13CSOM may allow for a more nuanced interpretation of ecosystem properties of palaeoecosystems based on palaeosol 13C values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-1611
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

biome
leaf area index
soil organic matter
ecosystems
carbon
productivity
water use
C4 plants
environmental gradient
energy transfer
temperate forests
temperate forest
paleosol
boreal forests
forest ecosystems
phenology
boreal forest
tropical forests
tropical forest
forest ecosystem

Cite this

Ladd, B., Peri, P., PEPPER, D., Silva, L., Sheil, D., Bonser, S., ... Bird, M. (2014). Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes. Journal of Ecology, 102, 1606-1611. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12309
Ladd, Brenton ; Peri, Pablo ; PEPPER, David ; Silva, Lucas ; Sheil, Douglas ; Bonser, Stephen ; Laffan, Shawn W. ; Amelung, Wulf ; Ekblad, Alf ; Eliasson, Peter ; Bahamonde, Hector ; Duarte-Guardia, Sandra ; Bird, Michael. / Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes. In: Journal of Ecology. 2014 ; Vol. 102. pp. 1606-1611.
@article{f35714d3d32049a4810fb1cf1707816b,
title = "Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes",
abstract = "1. Leaf area index (LAI), a measure of canopy density, is a key variable for modelling and understanding primary productivity, and also water use and energy exchange in forest ecosystems. However, LAI varies considerably with phenology and disturbance patterns, so alternative approaches to quantifying stand-level processes should be considered. The carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter (d13CSOM) provides a time-integrated, productivity-weighted measure of physiological and stand-level processes, reflecting biomass deposition from seasonal to decadal time scales. 2. Our primary aim was to explore how well LAI correlates with d13CSOM across biomes. 3. Using a global data set spanning large environmental gradients in tropical, temperate and boreal forest and woodland, we assess the strength of the correlation between LAI and d13CSOM; we also assess climatic variables derived from the WorldClim database. 4. We found that LAI was strongly correlated with d13CSOM, but was also correlated with Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter, Mean Precipitation of Warmest Quarter and Annual Solar Radiation across and within biomes. 5. Synthesis. Our results demonstrate that d13CSOM values can provide spatially explicit estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and could therefore serve as a surrogate for productivity and water use. While d13CSOM has traditionally been used to reconstruct the relative abundance of C3 versus C4 species, the results of this study demonstrate that within stable C3- or C4-dominated biomes, d13CSOM can provide additional insights. The fact that LAI is strongly correlated to d13CSOM may allow for a more nuanced interpretation of ecosystem properties of palaeoecosystems based on palaeosol 13C values.",
keywords = "climate, isoscapes, leaf area index, paleoecosystems, plant–soil (below-ground) interactions, productivity, stable isotopes, water stress, d13C, d13CSOM.",
author = "Brenton Ladd and Pablo Peri and David PEPPER and Lucas Silva and Douglas Sheil and Stephen Bonser and Laffan, {Shawn W.} and Wulf Amelung and Alf Ekblad and Peter Eliasson and Hector Bahamonde and Sandra Duarte-Guardia and Michael Bird",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1111/1365-2745.12309",
language = "English",
volume = "102",
pages = "1606--1611",
journal = "Journal of Ecology",
issn = "0022-0477",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

Ladd, B, Peri, P, PEPPER, D, Silva, L, Sheil, D, Bonser, S, Laffan, SW, Amelung, W, Ekblad, A, Eliasson, P, Bahamonde, H, Duarte-Guardia, S & Bird, M 2014, 'Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes', Journal of Ecology, vol. 102, pp. 1606-1611. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12309

Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes. / Ladd, Brenton; Peri, Pablo; PEPPER, David; Silva, Lucas; Sheil, Douglas; Bonser, Stephen; Laffan, Shawn W.; Amelung, Wulf; Ekblad, Alf; Eliasson, Peter; Bahamonde, Hector; Duarte-Guardia, Sandra; Bird, Michael.

In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 102, 2014, p. 1606-1611.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Carbon isotopic signatures of soil organic matter correlate with leaf area index across woody biomes

AU - Ladd, Brenton

AU - Peri, Pablo

AU - PEPPER, David

AU - Silva, Lucas

AU - Sheil, Douglas

AU - Bonser, Stephen

AU - Laffan, Shawn W.

AU - Amelung, Wulf

AU - Ekblad, Alf

AU - Eliasson, Peter

AU - Bahamonde, Hector

AU - Duarte-Guardia, Sandra

AU - Bird, Michael

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - 1. Leaf area index (LAI), a measure of canopy density, is a key variable for modelling and understanding primary productivity, and also water use and energy exchange in forest ecosystems. However, LAI varies considerably with phenology and disturbance patterns, so alternative approaches to quantifying stand-level processes should be considered. The carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter (d13CSOM) provides a time-integrated, productivity-weighted measure of physiological and stand-level processes, reflecting biomass deposition from seasonal to decadal time scales. 2. Our primary aim was to explore how well LAI correlates with d13CSOM across biomes. 3. Using a global data set spanning large environmental gradients in tropical, temperate and boreal forest and woodland, we assess the strength of the correlation between LAI and d13CSOM; we also assess climatic variables derived from the WorldClim database. 4. We found that LAI was strongly correlated with d13CSOM, but was also correlated with Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter, Mean Precipitation of Warmest Quarter and Annual Solar Radiation across and within biomes. 5. Synthesis. Our results demonstrate that d13CSOM values can provide spatially explicit estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and could therefore serve as a surrogate for productivity and water use. While d13CSOM has traditionally been used to reconstruct the relative abundance of C3 versus C4 species, the results of this study demonstrate that within stable C3- or C4-dominated biomes, d13CSOM can provide additional insights. The fact that LAI is strongly correlated to d13CSOM may allow for a more nuanced interpretation of ecosystem properties of palaeoecosystems based on palaeosol 13C values.

AB - 1. Leaf area index (LAI), a measure of canopy density, is a key variable for modelling and understanding primary productivity, and also water use and energy exchange in forest ecosystems. However, LAI varies considerably with phenology and disturbance patterns, so alternative approaches to quantifying stand-level processes should be considered. The carbon isotope composition of soil organic matter (d13CSOM) provides a time-integrated, productivity-weighted measure of physiological and stand-level processes, reflecting biomass deposition from seasonal to decadal time scales. 2. Our primary aim was to explore how well LAI correlates with d13CSOM across biomes. 3. Using a global data set spanning large environmental gradients in tropical, temperate and boreal forest and woodland, we assess the strength of the correlation between LAI and d13CSOM; we also assess climatic variables derived from the WorldClim database. 4. We found that LAI was strongly correlated with d13CSOM, but was also correlated with Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter, Mean Precipitation of Warmest Quarter and Annual Solar Radiation across and within biomes. 5. Synthesis. Our results demonstrate that d13CSOM values can provide spatially explicit estimates of leaf area index (LAI) and could therefore serve as a surrogate for productivity and water use. While d13CSOM has traditionally been used to reconstruct the relative abundance of C3 versus C4 species, the results of this study demonstrate that within stable C3- or C4-dominated biomes, d13CSOM can provide additional insights. The fact that LAI is strongly correlated to d13CSOM may allow for a more nuanced interpretation of ecosystem properties of palaeoecosystems based on palaeosol 13C values.

KW - climate

KW - isoscapes

KW - leaf area index

KW - paleoecosystems

KW - plant–soil (below-ground) interactions

KW - productivity

KW - stable isotopes

KW - water stress

KW - d13C

KW - d13CSOM.

U2 - 10.1111/1365-2745.12309

DO - 10.1111/1365-2745.12309

M3 - Article

VL - 102

SP - 1606

EP - 1611

JO - Journal of Ecology

JF - Journal of Ecology

SN - 0022-0477

ER -