Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 27–34 | Cite as

A vapor pressure deficit effect on crop canopy photosynthesis

  • W. T. Pettigrew
  • J. D. Hesketh
  • D. B. Peters
  • J. T. Woolley
Regular Paper

Abstract

Canopy CO2-exchange rates (CER), air temperatures, and dew points were measured throughout ten days during the 1987 growing season for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench], and five soybean [Glycine max (L) Merr.] cultivars, and throughout seven days in 1988, on maize (Zea maize L.). The objective was to determine if the decline in CER per unit light during the afternoon is associated with a vapor pressure deficit (VPD) increase. Some of the soybean and maize plots were kept as dry as possible. A VPD term significantly contributed (P≤0.05) to a canopy CER regression model in 54 of 80 data sets in 1987. Grain sorghum was less sensitive than the well-watered soybean genotypes to an increasing VPD (P≤0.05) on three of the ten measurement days and less sensitive than cotton (P≤0.05) on only one day. Cotton demonstrated less VPD sensitivity than soybean (P≤0.05) on one day. The moisture stressed soybean plots showed a greater CER sensitivity to VPD (P≤0.05) than the well-watered soybean plots. In 1988, the frequently irrigated maize plots were less sensitive to VPD (P≤0.05) than the rain-fed plots early in the season, before the rain-fed plots were excessively damaged by moisture stress. These results indicate that the afternoon declines in canopy CER found in a number of different species are associated with increases in the VPD; recent work of others suggests that this may be due to partial stomatal closure.

Key words

CO2-exchange rate Glycine max Gossypium hirsutum humidity hysteresis moisture stress Sorghum bicolor and Zea maize 

Abbreviations

CER

carbon dioxide exchange rate

VPD

vapor pressure deficit

PPFD

photosynthetic photon flux density

DAP

days after planning

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baldocchi DD, Verma SB, and Rosenberg NJ (1981) Mass and energy exchanges of a soybean canopy under various environmental regimes. Agron J 73: 706–710Google Scholar
  2. Baldocchi DD, Verma SB, Rosenberg NJ, Blad BL, Garay A, and Specht JE (1983) Influence of water stress on the diurnal exchange of mass and energy between the atmosphere and a soybean canopy. Agron J 75: 543–548Google Scholar
  3. Bunce JA (1981) Comparative responses of leaf conductance to humidity in single attached leaves. J of Exp Botany 32: 629–634Google Scholar
  4. Bunce JA (1982) Photosynthesis at ambient and elevated humidity over a growing season in soybean. Photosynth Res 3: 307–311Google Scholar
  5. Bunce JA (1983) Differential sensitivity to humidity of daily photosynthesis in the field in C3 and C4 species. Oecologia 57: 262–265Google Scholar
  6. Bunce JA (1984) Effects of humidity on photosynthesis. J of Exp Botany 35: 1245–1251Google Scholar
  7. Farquhar GD, Schulze ED, and Küppers M (1980) Responses to humidity by stomata of Nicotiana glauca (L.) and Corylus avellana (L.) are consistent with the optimization of CO2 uptake with respect to H2O loss. Aust J Plant Physiol 7: 315–327Google Scholar
  8. Farquhar GD, and Sharkey TD (1982) Stomatal conductance and photosynthesis. Ann Rev Plant Physiol 33: 317–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frederick JR, Alm DM, Wise RR, Hesketh JD, and Below FE (1989) Stomatal inhibition of photosynthesis under drought stress in soybean. Plant Physiol 89 (Supplement): 122Google Scholar
  10. Held AA, Hsiao TC, and Pruitt WO (1987) Daily timecourse of canopy photosynthesis and water use efficiency in crops with contrasting stomatal humidity response. Agron. Abstr. American Society of Agronomy, Madison WI. p. 93Google Scholar
  11. Johnson JD, and Ferrel WK (1983) Stomatal response to vapour pressure deficit and the effect on plant water stress. Plant Cell Environ 6: 451–456Google Scholar
  12. Kaufman MR (1982) Leaf conductance as a function of photosynthetic photon flux density and absolute humidity difference from leaf to air. Plant Physiol 69: 1018–1022Google Scholar
  13. Lange OL, Losch R, Schulze ED, and Kappen L (1971) Responses of stomata to changes in humidity. Planta 100: 76–86Google Scholar
  14. Larson EM, Hesketh JD, Woolley JT, and Peters DB (1981) Seasonal variations in apparent photosynthesis among plant stands of different soybean cultivars. Photosynth Res 2: 3–20Google Scholar
  15. Matthews MA and Boyer JS (1984) Acclimation of photosynthesis to low leaf water potentials. Plant Physiol 74: 161–166Google Scholar
  16. Mauney JR, Guinn G, Fry KE, and Hesketh JD (1979) Correlation of photosynthetic carbon dioxide uptake and carbohydrate accumulation in cotton, soybean, sunflower and sorghum. Photosynthetica 13: 260–266Google Scholar
  17. Mohanty P, and Boyer JS (1976) Chloroplast response to low leaf water potentials. IV. Quantum yield is reduced. Plant Physiol 57: 704–709Google Scholar
  18. Morison JIL and Gifford RM (1983) Stomatal sensitivity to carbon dioxide and humidity, a comparison of two C3 and two C4 grass species. Plant Physiol 71: 789–796Google Scholar
  19. Nafziger ED, and Koller HR (1976) Influence of leaf starch concentration on CO2 assimilation on soybean. Plant Physiol 57: 560–563Google Scholar
  20. Osonubi O and Davies WJ (1980) The influence of plant water stress on stomatal control of gas exchange at different levels of atmospheric humidity. Oecologia 46: 1–6Google Scholar
  21. Peet MM and Kramer RJ (1980) Effects of decreasing source/sink ratio in soybean on photosynthesis, photorespiration and yield. Plant Cell Environ 3: 201–206Google Scholar
  22. Pettigrew WT, Hesketh JD, Peters DB, and Woolley JT (1989) Characterization of canopy photosynthesis of chlorophyll-deficient isolines. Crop Sci 29: 1025–1029Google Scholar
  23. Potter JR and Breen RJ (1980) Maintenance of high photosynthetic rates during the accumulation of high starch levels in sunflower and soybean. Plant Physiol 66: 528–531Google Scholar
  24. Rawson HM, Begg JE, and Woodward RG (1977) The effect of atmospheric humidity on photosynthesis, transpiration and water use efficiency of leaves of several plant species. Planta 134: 5–10Google Scholar
  25. Rawson HM, Turner NC, and Begg JE (1978) Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum crops to water deficits. IV. Photosynthesis, transpiration, and water use efficiency of leaves. Aust J Plant Physiol 5; 195–209Google Scholar
  26. Schulze ED, Lange OL, Buschbom U, Kappen L, and Evenari M (1972) Stomatal responses to changes in humidity in plants growing in the desert. Planta 108: 259–270Google Scholar
  27. Schulze ED, and Küppers M (1979) Short-term and long-term effects of plant water deficits on stomatal response to humidity in Corylus avellana L. Planta 146: 319–326Google Scholar
  28. Sharkey TD (1984) Transpiration-induced changes in the photosynthetic capacity of leaves. Planta 160: 143–150Google Scholar
  29. Singh DP, Peters DB, Singh P, and Singh M (1987) Diurnal patterns of canopy photosynthesis, evapotranspiration and water use efficiency in chickpea [Cicer arietinum (L.)] under field conditions. Photosynth Res 11; 61–69Google Scholar
  30. Turner NC, Begg JE, Rawson HM, English SD, and Hearn AB (1978) Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum to water deficits. III. Components of leaf water potential, leaf conductance, 14CO2 photosynthesis, and adaptation to water deficits. Aust J Plant Physiol 5: 179–194Google Scholar
  31. Turner MC, Schulze ED, and Gollan T (1985) The response of stomata and leaf gas exchange to vapor pressure deficits and soil water content. II. In the mesophytic herbaceous species Helianthus annus. Oecologia 65: 348–355Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. T. Pettigrew
    • 1
  • J. D. Hesketh
    • 2
  • D. B. Peters
    • 2
  • J. T. Woolley
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA-ARSStonevilleU.S.A.
  2. 2.USDA-ARSUniv. of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations