Relationship between climatic conditions and the relative abundance of modern C3 and C4 plants in three regions around the North Pacific

ZhiGuo Rao, ZhaoYu Zhu, GuoDong Jia, FaHu Chen, Loukas Barton, JiaWu Zhang, MingRui Qiang
2010 Chinese Science Bulletin  
Using −24‰ and −14‰ as the endpoints of stable carbon isotopic composition of total organic carbon (δ 13 C TOC ) of surface soil under pure C 3 and C 4 vegetation, and surface soil δ 13 C TOC data from eastern China, Australia and the Great Plains of North America, we estimate the relative abundance of C 3 /C 4 plants (i.e., the ratio of C 3 or C 4 biomass to local primary production) in modern vegetation for each region. The relative abundance of modern C 3 /C 4 vegetation from each region is
more » ... rom each region is compared to the corresponding climatic parameters (mean annual temperature and precipitation) to explore the relationship between relative C 4 abundance and climate. The results indicate that temperature controls the growth of C 4 plants. However, even where temperature is high enough for the growth of C 4 plants, they will only dominate the landscape when precipitation declines as temperatures increase. Our results are consistent with those of other investigations of the geographic distribution of modern C 4 plant species. Therefore, our results provide an important reference for interpretation of past C 3 /C 4 relative abundance records in these three regions. organic carbon isotopes, modern C 3 /C 4 relative abundance, climatic factors, temperature, precipitation Citation: Rao Z G, Zhu Z Y, Jia G D, et al. Relationship between climatic conditions and the relative abundance of modern C 3 and C 4 plants in three regions around the North Pacific.
doi:10.1007/s11434-010-3101-z fatcat:s3fef7uyrfdizayrqzfqk3wvfy