• C3 plants;
  • photosynthesis;
  • stomatal modelling


Gas-exchange measurements on Eucalyptus grandis leaves and data extracted from the literature were used to test a semi-empirical model of stomatal conductance for CO2

gSc=go+a1A/(cs-I) (1+Ds/Do)]

where A is the assimilation rate; Ds and cs are the humidity deficit and the CO2 concentration at the leaf surface, respectively; g0 is the conductance as A [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] 0 when leaf irradiance [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] 0; and D0 and a1 are empirical coefficients. This model is a modified version of gsc=a1A hs/cs first proposed by Ball, Woodrow & Berry (1987, in Progress in Photosynthesis Research, Martinus Mijhoff, Publ., pp. 221–224), in which hs is relative humidity. Inclusion of the CO2 compensation point, τ, improved the behaviour of the model at low values of cs, while a hyperbolic function of Ds for humidity response correctly accounted for the observed hyperbolic and linear variation of gsc and ci/cs as a function of Ds, where Ci is the intercellular CO2 concentration. In contrast, use of relative humidity as the humidity variable led to predictions of a linear decrease in gsc and a hyperbolic variation in ci/cs as a function of Ds, contrary to data from E. grandis leaves. The revised model also successfully described the response of stomata to variations in A, Ds and cs for published responses of the leaves of several other species. Coupling of the revised stomatal model with a biochemical model for photosynthesis of C3 plants synthesizes many of the observed responses of leaves to light, humidity deficit, leaf temperature and CO2 concentration. Best results are obtained for well-watered plants.