Stomatal density and index of fossils in relation to CO2

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Salix cinerea

Relationship of stomatal density and index of Salix cinerea to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the Holocene

by McElwain J. C., Mitchell F. J. G., Jones M. B. (2016)

School of Botany, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland

Jennifer C. McElwain, University College Dublin, Ireland
Mitchell Fraser  J. G., University of Dublin, Ireland
Mike B. Jones, University College Dublin, Ireland

in The Holocene 5: 216-219. –

Abstract/FREE Full Text –


The impact of different concentrations of ambient CO2 on the stomatal density and index of Salix cinerea are investigated.

Fossil leaves (AMS dated 9190 BP) and present-day material from the same site in south west Ireland are compared with nineteenth-century herbarium material from Ireland.

Techniques for obtaining reliable counts of stomata and epidermal cells from hairy leaves with sunken stomata are reported.

Stomatal density and index were both found to be inversely related to CO2 concentration.

The data also demonstrate the higher intra-specific variability of stomatal density over stomatal index.

Analysis of the data indicates that similar investigations should be confined to single sites.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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