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Does size matter? Atmospheric CO<inf>2</inf> may be a stronger driver of stomatal closing rate than stomatal size in taxa that diversified under low CO<inf>2</inf>

Elliott-Kingston, C and Haworth, M and Yearsley, JM and Batke, SP and Lawson, T and McElwain, JC (2016) 'Does size matter? Atmospheric CO<inf>2</inf> may be a stronger driver of stomatal closing rate than stomatal size in taxa that diversified under low CO<inf>2</inf>.' Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (AUG201). ISSN 1664-462X

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Abstract

© 2016 Elliott-Kingston, Haworth, Yearsley, Batke, Lawsonand McElwain. One strategy for plants to optimize 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. 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 includingferns, cycads, conifers, and angiosperms under controlled ambient conditions (380 ppm CO2; 20.9% O2). 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. 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 optimize water use efficiency.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 14:32
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17462

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