Growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration reduces hydraulic conductance in alfalfa and soybean

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Abstract

Hydraulic conductances of alfalfa and soybean plants grown in controlled environment chambers at the current ambient carbon dioxide concentration and at twice the current ambient concentration were determined from measurements of transpiration rate and leaf and stem water potentials in the growth conditions. Growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration reduced both transpiration rate and hydraulic conductance from the soil to the leaf in both species. Hydraulic conductance from the soil to the base of the stem was also lower at elevated carbon dioxide in soybean, but not alfalfa. These measurements identified the stem to leaf hydraulic pathway as a major target of the carbon dioxide effect in both species. The conductance of excised stem segments was much less in plants grown at elevated carbon dioxide in soybeans.

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