BIOB50H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Leaf Area Index, Tropical And Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests, Experimental Lakes Area

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2 Aug 2016
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Leaf carbon can be measured in Leaf Area Index (LAI)
LAI = 1 means that 100% of the ground is covered by leaves.
LAI varies among biomes:
Less than 0.1 in Arctic tundra (less than 10% of the ground surface has leaf cover).
12 in boreal and tropical forests (on average, there are 12 layers of leaves between the
canopy and the ground). Way larger than 1
Terrestrial NPP can be estimated using remote sensing (NDVI)
NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) uses the difference between visible light (VIS) and
near-infrared (NIR) reflectance to estimate the absorption of light by chlorophyll.
Root carbon allocation differs with physical environment
Root allocation is often estimated by harvesting underground biomass, or by using equipment
such as a minirhizotron.
Tropical forest: trees have to grow taller than others to compete for the sun
Grasslands: they will die and come back next year, so they leave the root in the soil
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NPP is correlated with climate
when the precipitation is to high, over 3000mm, the nutrition will be washed away by the rain, so
the NPP will drop
for the annual tem., in warmer regions, higher NPP
NPP also differs with latitude
NPP within ecosystems is often limited by nutrients.
- Water, P, N
- In control condition, productivity is low, with nutrition, the NPP increases, but not for every
plant
Whole-lake fertilization experiments have also been done at the Experimental Lakes Area in
Ontario.
Declining water quality in the 1960s motivated David Schindler to do experiments to determine
whether inputs of nutrients in wastewater were causing the dramatic increases in the growth of
phytoplankton. (cleaning agent contain a lot of phosphorus, which cause the bloom)
Now the soap contains less phosphate.
Iron limitation in marine ecosystems
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NPP determines how much C is available to be consumed by autotrophs
Secondary production: heterotrophs
Secondary production—energy derived from consumption of organic compounds that were
produced by other organisms.
Trophic levels
The transfer of energy and biomass between trophic levels
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