A recent burst of technological innovation and adaptation has greatly improved our ability to capture respiration rate data from plant sources. At the tissue level, several independent respiration measurement options are now available, each with distinct advantages and suitability, including high-throughput sampling capacity. These advancements facilitate the inclusion of respiration rate data into large-scale biological studies such as genetic screens, ecological surveys, crop breeding trials, and multi-omics molecular studies. As a result, our understanding of the correlations of respiration with other biological and biochemical measurements is rapidly increasing. Difficult questions persist concerning the interpretation and utilization of respiration data; concepts such as allocation of respiration to growth versus maintenance, the unnecessary or inefficient use of carbon and energy by respiration, and predictions of future respiration rates in response to environmental change are all insufficiently grounded in empirical data. However, we emphasize that new experimental designs involving novel combinations of respiration rate data with other measurements will flesh-out our current theories of respiration. Furthermore, dynamic recordings of respiration rate, which have long been used at the scale of mitochondria, are increasingly being used at larger scales of size and time to reflect processes of cellular signal transduction and physiological response to the environment. We also highlight how respiratory methods are being better adapted to different plant tissues including roots and seeds, which have been somewhat neglected historically.