Stomatal and hydraulic conductance in growing sugarcane: stomatal adjustment to water transport capacity.
by Meinzer F. C., Grantz D. A. (1990)
Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, P.O. Box 1057, Aiea, HI 96701, U.S.A.
in Plant Cell Environ 13: 383–388 ––
Stomatal conductance per unit leaf area in well-irrigated field- and greenhouse-grown sugarcane increased with leaf area up to 0.2 m2 plant 1, then declined so that maximum transpiration per plant tended to saturate rather than increase linearly with further increase in leaf area.
Conductance to liquid water transport exhibited parallel changes with plant size. This coordination of vapour phase and liquid phase conductances resulted in a balance between water loss and water transport capacity, maintaining leaf water status remarkably constant over a wide range of plant size and growing conditions.
The changes in stomatal conductance were not related to plant or leaf age. Partial defoliation caused rapid increases in stomatal conductance, to re-establish the original relationship with remaining leaf area. Similarly, pruning of roots caused rapid reductions in stomatal conductance, which maintained or improved leaf water status.
These results suggest that sugarcane stomata adjusted to the ratio of total hydraulic conductance to total transpiring leaf area. This could be mediated by root metabolites in the transpiration stream, whose delivery per unit leaf area would be a function of the relative magnitudes of root system size, transpiration rate and leaf area.