Despite of the importance of carbon allocation and partitioning for the development and longevity of trees, detailed knowledge of carbon turnover in trees is scarce. During the last decade, efforts were undertaken to learn more about carbon gain, with regard to development and its dependency on environmental conditions (CO2, nutrient supply etc). Overcoming methodological difficulties, and by introducing methods into tree research which are well established for herbaceous plants, long hidden secrets of e.g. "dead" wood tissue and the hidden half of trees, roots, with their important microbe interaction (mycorrhiza) became accessible. However, combining classical biochemical approaches and molecular techniques, much more work is needed to understand the regulation of carbon metabolism at the whole tree level.

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