Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Tree Physiol. 2000 Jun;20(12):787-797.

Quantifying stomatal and non-stomatal limitations to carbon assimilation resulting from leaf aging and drought in mature deciduous tree species.

Author information

  • 1Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, NOAA, P.O. Box 2456, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.


Gas exchange techniques were used to investigate light-saturated carbon assimilation and its stomatal and non-stomatal limitations over two seasons in mature trees of five species in a closed deciduous forest. Stomatal and non-stomatal contributions to decreases in assimilation resulting from leaf age and drought were quantified relative to the maximum rates obtained early in the season at optimal soil water contents. Although carbon assimilation, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity (V(cmax)) decreased with leaf age, decreases in V(cmax) accounted for about 75% of the leaf-age related reduction in light-saturated assimilation rates, with a secondary role for stomatal conductance (around 25%). However, when considered independently from leaf age, the drought response was dominated by stomatal limitations, accounting for about 75% of the total limitation. Some of the analytical difficulties associated with computing limitation partitioning are discussed, including path dependence, patchy stomatal closure and diffusion in the mesophyll. Although these considerations may introduce errors in our estimates, our analysis establishes some reasonable boundaries on relative limitations and shows differences between drought and non-drought years. Estimating seasonal limitations under natural conditions, as shown in this study, provides a useful basis for comparing limitation processes between years and species.

[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk