Theoretical and Experimental Plant Physiology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 187–194 | Cite as

Stomatal opening in response to the simultaneous increase in vapor pressure deficit and temperature over a 24-h period under constant light in a tropical rainforest of the central Amazon

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Abstract

Stomatal functioning is modulated by several factors and, in most circumstances, stomatal aperture declines with increasing leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (VPDL) and temperature, but stomatal functioning under the humid conditions of the tropical rainforest understory has been scarcely investigated. The aim of this study was to determine how stomatal conductance of saplings responds to the changing understory temperatures of a tropical rainforest. We measured gas-exchange in four saplings of Guarea carinata (1–2 m tall). On each plant, stomatal conductance (g s), VPDL and leaf temperature were measured continuously at 3-min intervals during 24 h. We used a constant irradiance of 50 µmol m−2 s−1 and nearly constant relative humidity (75.8 ± 1.9%). Within the leaf chamber, leaf temperature over plants varied from 25.8 to 30.7 °C and VPDL from 0.62 to 0.93 kPa. Contrary to expectations, g s increased with the increase in leaf temperature and VPDL, and throughout the 24-h cycle, g s was maximum (0.123 mol m−2 s−1) at midday when temperatures were higher and minimum (0.016 mol m−2 s−1) after midnight, when the lower temperatures were recorded. There was a positive relationship between g s and both leaf temperature (p < 0.0001) and VPDL (p < 0.0001). If global temperature continues to increase as predicted by models, the direct increase in g s of saplings associated with an increase in temperature can be nullified if global warming negatively affects the water balance of plants (e.g. Guarea carinata) in this part of the Amazon.

Keywords

Amazonia Circadian rhythms Chlorophyll fluorescence Guard cell back-pressure Stomatal conductance 

Abbreviations

Fv/Fm

Maximal quantum yield of photosystem II

gs

Stomatal conductance

gs50

Stomatal conductance at 50 µmol m−2 s−1

gs50-STD

Standardized g s50 obtained by subtracting the mean of the corresponding leaf from each value recorded

PPFD

Photosynthetic photon flux density

RH

Relative humidity

RHirga

RH within the leaf chamber

Tair

Air temperature

TL50

Leaf temperature

VPDL

Leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference

Notes

Acknowledgements

To the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (MCTI-CNPq) for scholarship. Author contributions: KRM.: collected data in the field; RAM.: planned the experiment and wrote the article with the contributions of the first author.

Founding agency

Foundation for Research Support of the State of Amazonas (UA-062.03164.12).

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Copyright information

© Brazilian Society of Plant Physiology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Botany Graduate ProgramNational Institute for Research in the AmazonManausBrazil
  2. 2.Tree Ecophysiology Laboratory, Coordination of Environmental DynamicNational Institute for Research in the AmazonManausBrazil

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