Stomata and their function play a central role in determining the amount of carbon gained per unit water lost, known as plant “water use efficiency” and consequently have significant implications for crop yields, as well as global hydrological and carbon cycles. Stomata must ensure an appropriate balance between CO2 demands for photosynthesis and water loss through transpiration by correlating stomatal conductance with mesophyll photosynthetic rates.
Coordination of stomata and photosynthesis
The underlying mechanisms and signals that promote the relationship between stomata and photosynthesis are currently unknown. Stomata and photosynthesis respond to a number of environmental cues, however responses are not synchronized, with stomatal adjustments generally an order of magnitude slower than mesophyll responses. The resulting disconnection between stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate means that under natural fluctuating environmental condition water use efficiency is most likely far from optimal.
Stomatal open is determined by environmental and internal cues and stomatal conductance influence by both the aperture and density of stomata. Therefore the anatomy and spatial arrangement and of stomata and vein could have important influence for gas exchange. We are assessing vein and stomatal anatomy in relation to photosynthetic and hydraulic capacity in a range of different species with different crown ages to assess the evolutionary development of veins and stomata.