Forest floor vegetation plays an important role in photosynthetic production of boreal forests

Pasi Kolari, Jukka Pumpanen, Liisa Kulmala, Hannu Ilvesniemi, Eero Nikinmaa, Tiia Grönholm, Pertti Hari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We estimated gross photosynthetic production (GPP) of the forest floor vegetation in a 40-year-old Scots pine stand in southern Finland with three different methods: measurements of CO2 exchange of single leaves of field and ground layer species, measurement campaigns of forest floor net CO2 efflux at different irradiances with a manually operated soil chamber, and continuous measurements of forest floor net CO2 efflux with an automatic transparent chamber system. We upscaled the measured light response curves from the manual soil chambers using the biomass distribution of the forest floor species, a modelled seasonal pattern of photosynthetic capacity and a model of light extinction down the canopy. Leaf gas exchange of net CO2 efflux with the manual chamber indicated saturation of photosynthesis at relatively low (50-400 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)) light levels. Leaf and patch level measurements gave similar rates of photosynthetic CO2 fixation per unit leaf biomass suggesting that reduction in photosynthetic production due to within-patch shading was small. Upscaling of photosynthetic production to the stand level and continuous measurements with the automatic soil chambers indicated that momentary photosynthetic production by the forest floor vegetation in the summer was typically about 2 mu mol m(-2) (ground) s(-1). Cumulative upscaled GPP over the period of no snow (from 20 April to 20 November) in year 2003 was 131 g C m(-2). Continuous measurements with the automatic soil chamber system were in line with the upscaling, the cumulative GPP being 83 g C m(-2) and the seasonal pattern of photosynthetic rate similar to that of the upscaled photosynthesis. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number1-3
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Cite this