We used eddy covariance to measure the net exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and a black spruce (Picea mariana) forest in Manitoba for 16,500 hours from March 16, 1994 to October 31, 1996. We then partitioned net exchange into gross photosynthesis and respiration by estimating daytime respiration as a function of temperature, and used these data to define the physiological responses of the forest to weather. The annual rates of gross production and respiration by the forest were both around 8 t C ha−1 yr−1. Both photosynthetic and respiratory response were reduced in winter, recovered with warming in spring, and varied little in summer. Respiration in mid summer increased with air temperature (Tair) at a Q10 of around 2 to a rate of 2–8 μmol m−2 s−1 at 15°C. Gross photosynthesis at high light (photon flux density (PPFD) greater than 600 μmol m−2 s−1) was negligible at Tair < 0°C, increased linearly with Tair from 0° to 14°C, and was relatively insensitive to Tair > 14°C. Gross CO2 uptake at Tair > 14°C increased with increasing light at an ecosystem-level quantum yield of 0.05 mol CO2 mol−1photons before saturating at an uptake rate of 8–18 μmol m−2 s−1 at PPFDs greater than 500–700 μmol m−2 s−1. Photosynthesis in summer did not appear limited by high evaporative demand or soil water depletion.