Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 119–125 | Cite as

Photosynthesis and water use efficiency of Populus euphratica in response to changing groundwater depth and CO2 concentration

  • Yapeng ChenEmail author
  • Yaning Chen
  • Changchun Xu
  • Weihong Li
Original Article


Changes of stomatal conductance (g s), net photosynthetic rates (P N) and water use efficiency (WUE) were investigated in Populus euphratica grown on sites with different groundwater depths (GDs) under two CO2 concentrations in the lower reaches of Tarim River, Xinjiang, northwestern China. P N in P. euphratica only slightly decreased when the groundwater depth increased from 4.12 to 7.74 m below the ground surface. P N values significantly increased in response to an elevated CO2 concentration at all GDs except at GD of 4.12 m for its good availability of groundwater. WUE values decreased with an initial increase in the groundwater depth, but increased when the groundwater depth reached 7.74 m especially under the elevated CO2 concentration. The g s values measured at 4.12 and 4.74 m both decreased indistinctively by only 3% due to CO2 enrichment; however, when GDs increased to 5.54 and 7.74 m, the g s values decreased significantly by about 10%. It shows that the response of g s in P. euphratica to elevated CO2 is weaker under lower groundwater depth (mild drought stress) but stronger under deeper groundwater depth (moderate drought stress). Results from this study suggest that groundwater depth could determine the response of photosynthesis to future CO2 enrichment in P. euphratica in arid desert areas.


Photosynthesis Water use efficiency Populus euphratica Groundwater depth Stomatal conductance 



This study is jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40871059) and Light of the Western Training Program (XBBS 200804).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yapeng Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yaning Chen
    • 1
  • Changchun Xu
    • 2
  • Weihong Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and Desert Environment, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyCASUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Resources and Environmental ScienceXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China

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