Does size matter? Atmospheric CO2 may be a stronger driver of stomatal closing rate than stomatal size in taxa that diversified under low CO2

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Title: Does size matter? Atmospheric CO2 may be a stronger driver of stomatal closing rate than stomatal size in taxa that diversified under low CO2
Authors: Elliott-Kingston, Caroline
Haworth, Matthew
Yearsley, Jonathan M.
McElwain, Jennifer C.
et al.
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Date: 2016
Online since: 2016-08-19T14:12:23Z
Abstract: (1) One strategy for plants to optimise stomatal function is to open and close their stomata quickly in response to environmental signals.  It is generally assumed that small stomata can alter aperture faster than large stomata. (2) We tested the hypothesis that species with small stomata close faster than species with larger stomata in response to darkness by comparing rate of stomatal closure across an evolutionary range of species including ferns, cycads, conifers and angiosperms under controlled ambient conditions (380ppm CO2; 20.9% O2).  (3) The two species with fastest half-closure time and the two species with slowest half-closure time had large stomata while the remaining three species had small stomata, implying that closing rate was not correlated with stomatal size in these species. Neither was response time correlated with stomatal density, phylogeny, functional group or life strategy. (4) Our results suggest that past atmospheric CO2 concentration during time of taxa diversification may influence stomatal response time.  We show that species which last diversified under low or declining atmospheric CO2 concentration close stomata faster than species that last diversified in a high CO2 world.  Low atmospheric [CO2] during taxa diversification may have placed a selection pressure on plants to accelerate stomatal closing to maintain adequate internal CO2 and optimise water use efficiency.
Funding Details: European Research Council
Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Journal: Frontiers in Plant Science
Volume: 7
Keywords: StomataHalf-closure time in response to darknessStomatal sizeAtmospheric CO2 concentrationTime of taxa diversification
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01253
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Biology & Environmental Science Research Collection
Earth Institute Research Collection
Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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