, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 893–900 | Cite as

Effects of the interaction between vapor-pressure deficit and salinity on growth and photosynthesis of Cucumis sativus seedlings under different CO2 concentrations



We studied growth and photosynthesis of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings under two vapor-pressure deficit levels (VPD; 0.4 and 3.0 kPa), two salinity levels (0 mM and 34 mM NaCl), and two CO2 concentrations ([CO2]; 400 and 1,000 μmol mol–1). Relative growth rate (RGR) decreased with increasing VPD, but the causal factor differed between salinity levels and CO2 concentrations. Under ambient [CO2], RGR decreased with increasing VPD at low salinity mainly due to decreased leaf area ratio (LAR), and decreased net assimilation rate (NAR) at high salinity. The decrease in intercellular [CO2] (Ci) with decreasing stomatal conductance caused by high VPD did not significantly limit net photosynthetic rate (PN) at low salinity, but PN was potentially limited by Ci at high salinity. At high [CO2], high VPD reduced LAR, but did not affect NAR. This is because the decrease in Ci occurred where slope of PNCi curve was almost flat.

Additional key words

evaporative demand gas exchange growth analysis humidity stress response water potential 



ambient [CO2]


analysis of variance


CO2 concentration


intercellular CO2 concentration


dry mass


elevated [CO2]


stomatal conductance

J300 and J1500

electron transport rates at photosynthetic photon flux densities of 300 and 1,500 μmol m–2 s–1, respectively


leaf area ratio


leaf mass ratio


net assimilation rate


net photosynthetic rate


leaf water potential


relative growth rate


specific leaf area


maximum rate of Rubisco carboxylase activity


vapor-pressure deficit


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesOsaka Prefecture UniversitySakai, OsakaJapan

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