Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Nocturnal stomatal conductance and implications for modelling δ18O of leaf-respired CO2 in temperate tree species

Margaret M. Barbour A G , Lucas A. Cernusak B C , David Whitehead A , Kevin L. Griffin D , Matthew H. Turnbull E , David T. Tissue F and Graham D. Farquhar B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Landcare Research, PO Box 69, Lincoln 8152, New Zealand.

B Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, GPO Box 475, ACT 2601, Australia.

C Current address: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, PO Box 2072, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama.

D Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964-8000, USA.

E School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.

F Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-3131, USA.

G Corresponding author. Email: barbourm@landcareresearch.co.nz

Functional Plant Biology 32(12) 1107-1121 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP05118
Submitted: 17 May 2005  Accepted: 12 August 2005   Published: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Variation in the oxygen isotope composition of within-canopy CO2 has potential to allow partitioning of the ecosystem respiratory flux into above- and below-ground components. Recent theoretical work has highlighted the sensitivity of the oxygen isotope composition of leaf-respired CO2Rl) to nocturnal stomatal conductance. When the one-way flux model was tested on Ricinus communis L. large enrichments in δRl were observed. However, most species for which the isotope flux partitioning technique has been or would be applied (i.e. temperate tree species) are much more conservative users of water than R. communis. So, high stomatal conductance and very high enrichment of δRl observed may not be typical for temperate tree species. Using existing gas-exchange measurements on six temperate tree species, we demonstrate significant water loss through stomata for all species (i.e. statistically significantly greater than cuticular loss alone) at some time for some leaves during the night. δRl values predicted by the one-way flux model revealed that δRl might be very much more enriched than when the net flux alone is considered, particularly close to sunrise and sunset. Incorporation of the one-way flux model into ecosystem respiration partitioning studies will affect model outputs and interpretation of variation in the oxygen isotope composition of atmospheric CO2.

Keywords: leaf respiration, nocturnal stomatal conductance, Quercus rubra, stable oxygen isotope ratio.


Acknowledgments

Funding for this work by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund (M.M.B., G.D.F. and D.W.; contract LCR201) is gratefully acknowledged. The original leaf respiration data were collected during work supported by funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (USA) and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (New Zealand).


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