• Gas exchange, fluorescence, western blot and chemical composition analyses were combined to assess if three functional groups (forbs, grasses and evergreen trees/shrubs) differed in acclimation of leaf respiration (R) and photosynthesis (A) to a range of growth temperatures (7, 14, 21 and 28°C).
• When measured at a common temperature, acclimation was greater for R than for A and differed between leaves experiencing a 10-d change in growth temperature (PE) and leaves newly developed at each temperature (ND). As a result, the R : A ratio was temperature dependent, increasing in cold-acclimated plants. The balance was largely restored in ND leaves. Acclimation responses were similar among functional groups.
• Across the functional groups, cold acclimation was associated with increases in nonstructural carbohydrates and nitrogen. Cold acclimation of R was associated with an increase in abundance of alternative and/or cytochrome oxidases in a species-dependent manner. Cold acclimation of A was consistent with an initial decrease and subsequent recovery of thylakoid membrane proteins and increased abundance of proteins involved in the Calvin cycle.
• Overall, the results point to striking similarities in the extent and the biochemical underpinning of acclimation of R and A among contrasting functional groups differing in overall rates of metabolism, chemical composition and leaf structure.
2007. Vol. 176, no 2, 375-89 p.