Consistent scaling of whole-shoot respiration between Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) and trees
Both Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) and tree forests have a large biomass; they are considered to play an important role in ecosystem carbon budgets. The scaling relationship between individual whole-shoot (i.e., aboveground parts) respiration and whole-shoot mass provides a clue for comparing the carbon budgets of Moso bamboo and tree forests. However, nobody has empirically demonstrated whether there is a difference between these forest types in the whole-shoot scaling relationship. We developed whole-shoot chambers and measured the shoot respiration of 58 individual mature bamboo shoots from the smallest to the largest in a Moso bamboo forest, and then compared them with that of 254 tree shoots previously measured. For 30 bamboo shoots, we measured the respiration rate of leaves, branches, and culms. We found that the scaling exponent of whole-shoot respiration of bamboo fitted by a simple power function on a log–log scale was 0.843 (95 % CI 0.797–0.885), which was consistent with that of trees, 0.826 (95 % CI 0.799–0.851), but higher than 3/4, the value typifying the Kleiber’s rule. The respiration rates of leaves, branches, and culms at the whole-shoot level were proportional to their mass, revealing a constant mean mass-specific respiration of 1.19, 0.224, and 0.0978 µmol CO2 kg− 1 s− 1, respectively. These constant values suggest common traits of organs among physiologically integrated ramets within a genet. Additionally, the larger the shoots, the smaller the allocation of organ mass to the metabolically active leaves, and the larger the allocation to the metabolically inactive culms. Therefore, these shifts in shoot-mass partitioning to leaves and culms caused a negative metabolic scaling of Moso bamboo shoots. The observed convergent metabolic scaling of Moso bamboo and trees may facilitate comparisons of the ecosystem carbon budgets of Moso bamboo and tree forests.