Cross-biome synthesis of source versus sink limits to tree growth

Antoine Cabon, Steven A. Kannenberg, Altaf Arain, Flurin Babst, Dennis Baldocchi, Soumaya Belmecheri, Nicolas Delpierre, Rossella Guerrieri, Justin T. Maxwell, Shawn McKenzie, Frederick C. Meinzer, David J.P. Moore, Christoforos Pappas, Adrian V. Rocha, Paul Szejner, Masahito Ueyama, Danielle Ulrich, Caroline Vincke, Steven L. Voelker, Jingshu WeiDavid Woodruff, William R.L. Anderegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Uncertainties surrounding tree carbon allocation to growth are a major limitation to projections of forest carbon sequestration and response to climate change. The prevalence and extent to which carbon assimilation (source) or cambial activity (sink) mediate wood production are fundamentally important and remain elusive. We quantified source-sink relations across biomes by combining eddy-covariance gross primary production with extensive on-site and regional tree ring observations. We found widespread temporal decoupling between carbon assimilation and tree growth, underpinned by contrasting climatic sensitivities of these two processes. Substantial differences in assimilation-growth decoupling between angiosperms and gymnosperms were determined, as well as stronger decoupling with canopy closure, aridity, and decreasing temperatures. Our results reveal pervasive sink control over tree growth that is likely to be increasingly prominent under global climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number376
Issue number6594
StatePublished - May 13 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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