A hydromechanical and biochemical model of stomatal conductance

Authors

  • T. N. BUCKLEY,

    1. Environmental Biology Group and Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University, GPO Box 475, Canberra City, ACT 2601, Australia and
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  • K. A. MOTT,

    1. Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322–5305, USA
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  • G. D. FARQUHAR

    1. Environmental Biology Group and Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University, GPO Box 475, Canberra City, ACT 2601, Australia and
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Correspondence: T. N. Buckley. E-mail: tom-buckley@alumni.jmu.edu.

ABSTRACT

A mathematical model of stomatal conductance is presented. It is based on whole-plant and epidermal hydromechanics, and on two hypotheses: (1) the osmotic gradient across guard cell membranes is proportional to the concentration of ATP in the guard cells; and (2) the osmotic gradient that can be sustained per unit of ATP is proportional to the turgor pressure of adjacent epidermal cells. In the present study, guard cell [ATP] is calculated using a previously published model that is based on a widely used biochemical model of C3 mesophyll photosynthesis. The conductance model for Vicia faba L. is parameterized and tested As with most other stomatal models, the present model correctly predicts the stomatal responses to variations in transpiration rate, irradiance and intercellular CO2. Unlike most other models, however, this model can predict the transient stomatal opening often observed before conductance declines in response to decreases in humidity, soil water potential, or xylem conductance. The model also explicitly accommodates the mechanical advantage of the epidermis and correctly predicts that stomata are relatively insensitive to the ambient partial pressure of oxygen, as a result of the assumed dependence on ATP concentration.

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