Estimating ecosystem maximum light use efficiency based on the water use efficiency principle

IOP Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Research Letters, 2021, 16, (10), pp. 104032
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Light use efficiency (LUE) defines the vegetation efficiency of converting radiative energy into biochemical energy through photosynthesis. Estimating the maximum LUE (ϵ max) is critical yet challenging for quantifying gross primary production (GPP) using LUE-based models. This study describes an analytical method for estimating ϵ max based on water use efficiency (WUE) as determined by plant water use and carbon gain. Unlike other complex parameterization schemes, this WUE-based method is simple and requires four variables relatively easy to acquire. The WUE-based ϵ max estimates compare favorably well with values based on traditional curve fitting method and that reported in the literature, and clearly distinguished ϵ max between C3 (1.48 0.33 {g C M}}{J}}{ - 1}) and C4 (2.63 0.21 {g C M}}{J}}{-1}}) dominated ecosystems. The range in ϵ max estimates was narrow across different years and sites within a biome. The WUE-based ϵ max estimate is theoretically constrained by vegetation water use and can be directly incorporated into LUE models for GPP estimation across ecosystems.
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