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Photosynthesis and Respiration research by Marc van Iersel and his students

Some of the photosynthesis and respiration results are highlighted on this page. There are links to posters presented at various meetings, as well as to various papers which have been published.



Leaf photosynthesis measurements often do not correlate well with plant growth. There are a variety of reasons for this:

  • There are spatial diffences in leaf photosynthesis within a canopy
  • There are temporal changes in leaf photosynthesis
  • Respiratory losses of CO2can easily account for 50% of gross photosynthesis, yet root, stem, and fruit respiration are not accounted for in leaf photosynthesis measurements. Furthermore, if CO2 exchange is measured only in the light, there is no indication of how much CO2 is lost through dark respiration.

Continuous whole-plant (or –crop) CO 2 exchange measurements are a very powerful research tool, because they do not have these limitations, and are a direct indicator of plant growth. We have used this approach in many of our studies. Some of the reprints can be found below.

If you can’t access the reprints on-line, please send me an e-mail.

van Iersel, M.W. 2003. Carbon use efficiency depends on growth respiration, maintenance respiration, and relative growth rate. A case study with lettuce. Plant, Cell & Environment. In press.

Dumka, D., C.W. Bednarz , and M.W. van Iersel. 2003. Effect of flower bud removal on carbon dioxide exchange rates of cotton. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis . In press.

van Iersel, M.W. 2003. Carbon exchange rates of four bedding plant species as affected by short-term temperature changes. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 128:100-106.

Schwarz, D., H.-P. Kläring, M.W. van Iersel, and K.T. Ingram. 2002. Growth and photosynthetic response of tomato to nutrient solution concentration at two light levels. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 127:984-990.

van Iersel, M.W. and J.-G. Kang. 2003. Nutrient solution concentration affects whole-plant CO exchange of subirrigated pansy. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 127:423-429.

Miller, A.M., M.W. van Iersel, and A.M. Armitage. 2001. Whole plant CO2 exchange responses of Angelonia angustifolia to temperature and irradiance. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 125:606-610.

Bednarz, C.W. and M.W. van Iersel. 2001. Temperature response of whole-plant CO exchange rates of four upland cotton cultivars differing in leaf shape and leaf pubescence. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 32:2485-2501.

Klingeman, W.E., G.D. Buntin, M.W. van Iersel, and S.K. Braman. 2000. Whole-plant gas exchange, not individually leaf measurements, accurately assesses azalea response to insecticides. Crop Protection 19:407-415.

Klingeman, W.E., M.W. van Iersel, G.D. Buntin, and S.K. Braman. 2000. Whole-plant CO exchange measurements on azaleas injured by azalea lace bug feeding. Journal of Economic Entomology 93:352-356.

Bednarz, C.W. and M.W. van Iersel. 1999. Whole plant CO exchange rates in cotton treated with pyrithiobac. Journal of Cotton Science 3:53-59.

Bednarz, C.W. and M.W. van Iersel. 1998. Semi-continuous CO exchange rates in cotton treated with commercially available plant growth regulators. Journal of Cotton Science 2:136-142.

van Iersel, M.W. and B. Bugbee. 1997. Increased organic matter in the growing medium decreases Benlate DF toxicity. Plant Disease 81:743-748.


The following manuscripts are not available on-line, but you can get the reprints by sending me an e-mail.

van Iersel, M.W. and L.Seymour. 2000. Growth respiration, maintenance respiration, and carbon fixation of vinca [ Catharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don.]: a time series analysis. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 125:702-706.

van Iersel, M.W. 2000. Post-production leaching affects the growing medium and respiration of subirrigated poinsettias. HortScience 35:250-253.

van Iersel, M.W. and B.Bugbee. 2000. A semi-continuous, multi-chamber crop CO -exchange system: design, calibration, and data interpretation. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 125:86-92.

van Iersel, M.W. 1999. Auxin applications affect post-transplant CO exchange rate and growth of bare-rooted vinca [ Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don] seedlings. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 124:234-238.

van Iersel, M.W. and O.M.Lindstrom . 1999. Temperature response of whole plant CO exchange rates of three magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora L.) cultivars. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 124:277-282.

van Iersel, M.W. and B.Bugbee. 1997. Dibutylurea reduces photosynthesis and growth of petunia and impatiens. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 122:536-541.

van Iersel, M.W. and B.Bugbee. 1996. Phytotoxic effects of benzimidazole fungicides on bedding plants. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 121:1095-1102.