Changing irradiance and dynamic response of stomata

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Pinus taeda

Dynamic response of stomata to changing irradiance in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.).

by Whitehead D., Teskey R. O. (1995)

in Tree Physiol. 15, 245–251. doi: 10.1093/treephys/15.4.245 –

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar


Dynamic changes in stomatal conductance and the rate of photosynthesis were measured as periods of shading (decrease in irradiance from 800 to 200 μmol m−2 s−1) between 5 and 60 min were imposed on needles of Pinus taeda L. trees under laboratory conditions.

Shading induced a 39% decrease in stomatal conductance but the rate of change was slow. Average time constants (± standard error) were shorter for the decrease in stomatal conductance when shading was imposed for 30 min (14.8 ± 1.3 min) than for the increase in stomatal conductance when shading was removed (25.5 ± 3.4 min). The time constants for increasing stomatal conductance when shading was removed were linearly related to the length of the previous dark period.

The rate of photosynthesis fell immediately by 58% when shading was imposed and increased more rapidly than the change in stomatal conductance when shading was removed. The increase in photosynthesis during the induction phase after shading was removed was limited by both stomatal and biochemical effects.

The long time constants for stomatal response contributed to the poor correlations between stomatal conductance and instantaneous measurements of irradiance from field data. However, the slow response of stomatal conductance to changes in irradiance had little effect on total daily transpiration, carbon gain and water-use efficiency.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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

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