Asymmetrical effects of mesophyll conductance on fundamental photosynthetic parameters and their relationships estimated from leaf gas exchange measurements. Academic Article uri icon


  • Worldwide measurements of nearly 130 C3 species covering all major plant functional types are analysed in conjunction with model simulations to determine the effects of mesophyll conductance (g(m)) on photosynthetic parameters and their relationships estimated from A/Ci curves. We find that an assumption of infinite g(m) results in up to 75% underestimation for maximum carboxylation rate V(cmax), 60% for maximum electron transport rate J(max), and 40% for triose phosphate utilization rate T(u) . V(cmax) is most sensitive, J(max) is less sensitive, and T(u) has the least sensitivity to the variation of g(m). Because of this asymmetrical effect of g(m), the ratios of J(max) to V(cmax), T(u) to V(cmax) and T(u) to J(max) are all overestimated. An infinite g(m) assumption also limits the freedom of variation of estimated parameters and artificially constrains parameter relationships to stronger shapes. These findings suggest the importance of quantifying g(m) for understanding in situ photosynthetic machinery functioning. We show that a nonzero resistance to CO2 movement in chloroplasts has small effects on estimated parameters. A non-linear function with gm as input is developed to convert the parameters estimated under an assumption of infinite gm to proper values. This function will facilitate gm representation in global carbon cycle models.

published proceedings

  • Plant Cell Environ

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Sun, Y., Gu, L., Dickinson, R. E., Pallardy, S. G., Baker, J., Cao, Y., ... Winter, K.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Sun, Ying||Gu, Lianhong||Dickinson, Robert E||Pallardy, Stephen G||Baker, John||Cao, Yonghui||DaMatta, Fábio Murilo||Dong, Xuejun||Ellsworth, David||Van Goethem, Davina||Jensen, Anna M||Law, Beverly E||Loos, Rodolfo||Martins, Samuel C Vitor||Norby, Richard J||Warren, Jeffrey||Weston, David||Winter, Klaus

publication date

  • April 2014