The influence of water stress on the photosynthetic performance and stomatal behaviour of tree seedlings subjected to variation in temperature and irradiance.
by Osonubi O., Davies W. J. (1980)
in Oecologia (Berl.) 45, 3–10 – doi:10.1007/BF00346699 –
Seedlings of Betula pendula Roth. and Gmelina arborea L. were subjected to variation in temperature and irradiance. The influence of a mild water-stressing treatment on the photosynthetic performance and stomatal behaviour of these plants was assessed.
For both species, the shape of the relationships between irradiance and photosynthesis and temperature and photosynthesis resembled those reported for other species. The effect of water stress was to reduce the rate of photosynthesis, particularly at high temperatures. This was largely a function of a reduction in mesophyll conductance under these conditions.
The optimum temperature for stomatal opening was significantly lower than the optimum temperature for photosynthesis, which was in turn lowered by the water stress treatment.
The stomata of birch seedlings showed maximum opening at an intermediate temperature while the stomata of Gmelina generally exhibited a closing movement when leaf temperatures increased from 15° C. Mesophyll conductances of both species increased with increasing temperature.
The physiological basis for the variation in photosynthetic performance and stomatal behaviour and the ecological significance of this variation are discussed.