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Vertical profiles of leaf photosynthesis and leaf traits and soil nutrients in two tropical rainforests in French Guiana before and after a 3-year nitrogen and phosphorus addition experiment

Verryckt, L. T., S. Vicca, L. Van Langenhove, C. Stahl, D. Asensio, I. Urbina, R. Ogaya, J. Llusià, O. Grau, G. Peguero, A. Gargallo-Garriga, E. A. Courtois, O. Margalef, M. Portillo-Estrada, P. Ciais, M. Obersteiner, L. Fuchslueger, L. F. Lugli, P.R. Fernandez-Garberí, H.Vallicrosa, M. Verlinden, C. Ranits, P. Vermeir, S. Coste, E. Verbrugge. 2022.

Abstract

Terrestrial biosphere models typically use the biochemical model of Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry (1980) to simulate photosynthesis, which requires accurate values of photosynthetic capacity of different biomes. However, data on tropical forests are sparse and highly variable due to the high species diversity, and it is still highly uncertain how these tropical forests respond to nutrient limitation in terms of C uptake. Tropical forests often grow on soils low in phosphorus (P) and are, in general, assumed to be P rather than nitrogen (N) limited. However, the relevance of P as a control of photosynthetic capacity is still debated. Here, we provide a comprehensive dataset of vertical profiles of photosynthetic capacity and important leaf traits, including leaf N and P concentrations, from two 3-year, large-scale nutrient addition experiments conducted in two tropical rainforests in French Guiana. These data present a unique source of information to further improve model representations of the roles of N, P, and other leaf nutrients in photosynthesis in tropical forests. To further facilitate the use of our data in syntheses and model studies, we provide an elaborate list of ancillary data, including important soil properties and nutrients, along with the leaf data. As environmental drivers are key to improve our understanding of carbon (C) and nutrient cycle interactions, this comprehensive dataset will aid to further enhance our understanding of how nutrient availability interacts with C uptake in tropical forests. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5638236 (Verryckt, 2021).