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Trends Plant Sci. 2003 Jul;8(7):343-51.

Thermal acclimation and the dynamic response of plant respiration to temperature.

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Department of Biology, The University of York, PO Box 373, York YO10 5YW, UK.


Temperature-mediated changes in plant respiration (R) are now accepted as an important component of the biosphere's response to global climate change. Here we discuss the underlying mechanisms responsible for the dynamic response of plant respiration to short and long-term temperature changes. The Q(10) is often assumed to be 2.0 (i.e. R doubles per 10 degrees C rise in temperature); however, the Q(10) is not constant (e.g. it declines near-linearly with increasing temperature). The temperature dependence of Q(10) is linked to shifts in the control exerted by maximum enzyme activity at low temperature and substrate limitations at high temperature. In the long term, acclimation of R to temperature is common, in effect reducing the temperature sensitivity of R to changes in thermal environment, with the temperature during plant development setting the maximal thermal acclimation of R.

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