The importance of plant respiration in determining the scale and magnitude of future global environmental change is a major focus of the Atkin lab's research. With others, we aim to quantify the climate dependence respiration, and determine the impact of variations in respiration on rates of net carbon uptake in a range of contrasting ecosystems over wide spatial and temporal scales. The impacts of nutrient gradients and variations in water availability on plant respiration and related plant metabolic pathways are being assessed. As part of this work, we are combining laboratory and field observations to establish if there are systematic patterns in how plant respiration responds to environmental gradients, and to establish the underlying factors responsible for genotypic differences in nutrient use efficiency. We are also working with modellers to improve the representation of plant respiration in global climate-vegetation models, and are investigating the physiological and biochemical basis of thermal acclimation of respiration to long-term changes in temperature.