A global database of C4 photosynthesis in grasses
Format Extent582041 bytes
MetadataShow full item record
C3,C4 or Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic pathways represent a fundamental axis of trait variation in plants,with importance at scales from genome to biome. Knowing the distribution of these pathways among wild species is a crucial first step in understanding the patterns and processes of photosynthetic evolution and its role in ecological processes at large scales (e.g. changes in the composition of biomes under global change). C4 photosynthesis is most prevalent in the Poaceae (grasses), which account for about half of all C4 species (Sage et al.,1999a).Research on the evolution and ecology of these plants has undergone a renaissance during the last 7 yr, catalyzed by phylogenetic analyses showing multiple parallel C4 origins (e.g. Christin et al. , 2007; Vicentini et al., 2008; GPWG II, 2012), insights into the distribution of C4 species and assembly of the C4 grassland biome (Edwards & Still, 2008; Edwards & Smith, 2010; Edwards et al., 2010), and efforts to introduce the C4 pathway into rice (Hibberd et al., 2008; von Caemmerer et al., 2012). C4 photosynthesis is an excellent model for investigating complex trait evolution, because of the broad knowledge base describing its biochemical basis, evolutionary history, and ecological interactions (Christin et al., 2010).