Implications of improved representations of plant respiration in a changing climate
© 2017 The Author(s). Land-atmosphere exchanges influence atmospheric CO 2 . Emphasis has been on describing photosynthetic CO 2 uptake, but less on respiration losses. New global datasets describe upper canopy dark respiration (R d ) and temperature dependencies. This allows characterisation of baseline R d , instantaneous temperature responses and longer-term thermal acclimation effects. Here we show the global implications of these parameterisations with a global gridded land model. This model aggregates R d to whole-plant respiration R p , driven with meteorological forcings spanning uncertainty across climate change models. For pre-industrial estimates, new baseline R d increases R p and especially in the tropics. Compared to new baseline, revised instantaneous response decreases R p for mid-latitudes, while acclimation lowers this for the tropics with increases elsewhere. Under global warming, new R d estimates amplify modelled respiration increases, although partially lowered by acclimation. Future measurements will refine how R d aggregates to whole-plant respiration. Our analysis suggests R p could be around 30% higher than existing estimates.