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Title: Height-related trends in stomatal sensitivity to leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit in a tall conifer

Author: Woodruff, D.R.; Meinzer, F.C.; McCulloh, K.A.;

Date: 2010

Source: Journal of Experimental Botany. 61(1): 203-210

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Stomatal responses to leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit (LVPD), leaf water potential components, and cuticular properties were characterized for Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) foliage collected from treetops along a height gradient from 5 m to 58 m in order to explore height-related trends in stomatal sensitivity to LVPD and to investigate the role of bulk leaf turgor and leaf cuticle thickness in determining stomatal behaviour. There were three distinct phases in the response of stomatal conductance (gs) to changes in LVPD. At low LVPD, gs increased with increasing LVPD (phase one). During the second phase, gs was maximal at low to intermediate LVPD, and during the third phase, gs declined steadily as LVPD increased. The responsiveness of gs to LVPD exhibited a height-related pattern such that maximum gs (gs-max) occurred at progressively greater LVPD with increasing height (r2 = 0.55, P = 0.006). Bulk leaf osmotic potential at full turgor decreased with height (r2 = 0.77, P = 0.00016), and LVPD at gs-max and at maximum crown conductance (gc-max) in the field were significantly correlated with leaf turgor (r2 = 0.92, P = 0.0093). Cuticle thickness increased by 0.044 ┬Ám for every meter increase in height (r2 = 0.78, P = 0.00015). The observed trends in the response of gs to LVPD along a height gradient, and their consistency with height-related trends in foliar osmotic potential suggest that osmotic adjustment at the tops of tall trees influences the relationship between gs and LVPD.

Keywords: cuticular conductance, foliar turgor Pseudotsuga menziesii, stomatal conductance, tree height

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Woodruff, D.R.; Meinzer, F.C.; McCulloh, K.A. 2010. Height-related trends in stomatal sensitivity to leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit in a tall conifer. Journal of Experimental Botany. 61(1): 203-210.

 


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