Submitted to: Plant Cell and Environment
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2013
Publication Date: 9/1/2013
Citation: Bernacchi, C.J., Bagley, J.E., Serbin, S.P., Ruiz-Vera, U.M., Rosenthal, D.M., VanLoocke, A.D. 2013. Modelling C3 photosynthesis from the chloroplast to the ecosystem. Plant Cell and Environment. 36:1641-1657. Interpretive Summary: This review compiles a significant amount of material that focuses on modeling photosynthesis. The photosynthesis model was originally developed for the leaf, but it has been used for modeling at the leaf, plant, field, ecosystem, and global levels. Because of the range of uses, this review compiles the major uses, methods, and discoveries that are based on the leaf level model. The application of the model for uses ranges beyond modeling; it has been used to better understand remotely sensed data from aircraft and satellites and it has been used to understand opportunities to improve photosynthesis. Each of these uses is discussed in detail, along with assumptions and common errors.
Technical Abstract: Globally, photosynthesis accounts for the largest flux of CO2 from the atmosphere into ecosystems and is the driving process for terrestrial ecosystem function. The importance of accurate predictions of photosynthesis over a range of plant growth conditions led to the development of a C3 photosynthesis model by Farquhar et al. (1980) that has become increasingly important as society places greater pressures on vegetation. The photosynthesis model has played a major role in defining the path toward scientific understanding of photosynethic carbon uptake and the role of photosynthesis on regulating the earth's climate and biogeochemical systems. In this review, we summarize the photosynthesis model, including its continued development and applications. We also review the implications these developments have on quantifying photosynthesis at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and discuss the model's role in determining photosynthetic responses to global change scenarios including rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, increasing temperature, increased drought probability, and higher tropospheric O3 concentrations. Finally, the review includes a discussion of the larger-scale modeling and remote sensing applications that rely on the leaf photosynthesis model and are likely to open new scientific avenues to address the increasing challenges facing humanity over the next century.