Abstract Detail



The evolution of functional traits in plants: is the giant still sleeping?

Murray, Michelle [1], Soh , Wuu Kuang [2], McElwain, Jennifer C. [3].

Consistency in the relationship between field-measured stomatal conductance and theoretical maximum stomatal conductance across four biomes: a new reference for paleoproxies.

A defined scaling relationship between operational stomatal conductance (gop) and the theoretical (anatomical) maximum stomatal conductance (gmax) of plants in response to changing atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] is an important tool for assessing plant-climate interactions. For paleobotanists gmax is an important paleotrait proxy for inferring gop and paleoatmospheric [CO2] from the fossil record to track plant macroevolution through changing climate. It is well established that under field conditions gop is measured at only a fraction of gmax. To date however, investigations of the gop-gmax relationship in modern plants have been geographically narrow and limited to a small number of controlled environment or single-species field experiments so that for vegetation in natural forested ecosystems it remains undefined and virtually unexplored. We investigated the present-day measured gop and calculated gmax values of 26 deciduous and 49 evergreen woody angiosperm species in four biomes (boreal forest, temperate rainforest, tropical rainforest and tropical seasonal (moist) forest) to explore patterns in this relationship at species, plant functional type (PFT), habitat and biome levels. Despite wide interspecies variability in all biomes, we determined a consistency in the scaling relationships between gop and gmax at habitat and biome levels. This novel dataset could improve paleoclimate models by providing gop:gmax scaling factors that affect the estimated gop calculated from gmax, which currently may be underestimated. It may also help to reduce uncertainty in gop inferred from fossil stomatal geometry to better assess paleophysiological plant and paleoecosystem function and more specifically interpret and predict their responses to climate change, past, present and future.


1 - Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Botany Department, College Green, Dublin 2, Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 - Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Botany Department, College Green, Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland
3 - Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Botany Department, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0011
Abstract ID:657
Candidate for Awards:None


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