Perennial rye-grass plants were pulse labelled with [14C]-CO2 over a range of temperatures (5–25°C). The fate of the label was determined within the plant and soil. The temperature at which plants were pulse labelled had a marked effect on the distribution of the label within the plant and soil system. Root-soil respiration increased from 5.7 to 24.15% when expressed as a percentage of net assimilated label. The percentage of label remaining in the plant root and in the soil was greater at 5 and 25°C, with a minimum for both these components at 15°C. At 15°C the percentage of net assimilated label that remained in the shoots was greater than at other temperatures, with this percentage decreasing at the lower and higher temperatures.