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Stomatal kinetics and photosynthetic gas exchange along a continuum of isohydric to anisohydric regulation of plant water status

Meinzer, Frederick C., Smith, Duncan D., Woodruff, David R., Marias, Danielle E., McCulloh, Katherine A., Howard, Ava R., Magedman, Alicia L.
Plant, cell and environment 2017 v.40 no.8 pp. 1618-1628
stomatal movement, turgor, stomatal conductance, gas exchange, water use efficiency, leaf water potential, woody plants, photosynthesis, stable isotopes, stomata
Species' differences in the stringency of stomatal control of plant water potential represent a continuum of isohydric to anisohydric behaviours. However, little is known about how quasi‐steady‐state stomatal regulation of water potential may relate to dynamic behaviour of stomata and photosynthetic gas exchange in species operating at different positions along this continuum. Here, we evaluated kinetics of light‐induced stomatal opening, activation of photosynthesis and features of quasi‐steady‐state photosynthetic gas exchange in 10 woody species selected to represent different degrees of anisohydry. Based on a previously developed proxy for the degree of anisohydry, species' leaf water potentials at turgor loss, we found consistent trends in photosynthetic gas exchange traits across a spectrum of isohydry to anisohydry. More anisohydric species had faster kinetics of stomatal opening and activation of photosynthesis, and these kinetics were closely coordinated within species. Quasi‐steady‐state stomatal conductance and measures of photosynthetic capacity and performance were also greater in more anisohydric species. Intrinsic water‐use efficiency estimated from leaf gas exchange and stable carbon isotope ratios was lowest in the most anisohydric species. In comparisons between gas exchange traits, species rankings were highly consistent, leading to species‐independent scaling relationships over the range of isohydry to anisohydry observed.