Imperial College London

Professor Iain Colin Prentice

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts



+44 (0)20 7594 2354c.prentice




1.1Centre for Population BiologySilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Paillassa, J and Wright, I and Prentice, IC and Pepin, S and Smith, N and Ethier, G and Westerband, A and Lamarque, L and Han, W and Cornwell, W and Marie, V},
doi = {10.1111/nph.16702},
journal = {New Phytologist},
pages = {121--135},
title = {When and where soil is important to modify the carbon and water economy of leaves.},
url = {},
volume = {228},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Photosynthetic “leastcost” theory posits that the optimal trait combination for a given environment is that where the summed costs of photosynthetic water and nutrient acquisition/use are minimised. The effects of soil water and nutrient availability on photosynthesis should be stronger as climaterelated costs for both resources increase.Two independent datasets of photosynthetic traits, Globamax (1509 species, 288 sites) and Glob13C (3645 species, 594 sites), were used to quantify biophysical and biochemical limitations of photosynthesis and the key variable Ci/Ca (CO2 drawdown during photosynthesis). Climate and soil variables were associated with both datasets.The biochemical photosynthetic capacity was higher on alkaline soils. This effect was strongest at more arid sites, where water unitcosts are presumably higher. Higher values of soil silt and depth increased Ci/Ca, likely by providing greater H2O supply, alleviating biophysical photosynthetic limitation when soil water is scarce.Climate is important in controlling the optimal balance of H2O and N costs for photosynthesis, but soil properties change these costs, both directly and indirectly. In total, soil properties modify the climatedemand driven predictions of Ci/Ca by up to 30% at a global scale.
AU - Paillassa,J
AU - Wright,I
AU - Prentice,IC
AU - Pepin,S
AU - Smith,N
AU - Ethier,G
AU - Westerband,A
AU - Lamarque,L
AU - Han,W
AU - Cornwell,W
AU - Marie,V
DO - 10.1111/nph.16702
EP - 135
PY - 2020///
SN - 0028-646X
SP - 121
TI - When and where soil is important to modify the carbon and water economy of leaves.
T2 - New Phytologist
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 228
ER -