Hydraulic constraints influence the distribution of canopy photosynthetic properties

  • Mikko Peltoniemi Metla
  • Remko Duursma
  • Belinda Medlyn
Keywords: Canopy, Hydraulic conductance, Nitrogen, Optimal, Photosynthesis, Resource allocation


We showed that limited water transport capacity to upper canopy leaves leads to sub-optimal photosynthetic performance of a tree. In these cases, the widely applied assumption of optimal N distribution that follows irradiance distribution does not hold. Hydraulically constrained optimum N distribution would be flatter than the distribution of irradiance. We further showed that in order to maximize canopy photosynthesis, trees should allocate water transport capacity and N co-optimally, which means allocating both of them according to irradiance distribution.

2A Exchange and transport processes in plants