Abaxial stomata from Vicia faba leaves grown in a growth chamber under constant light, temperature and humidity showed an elaborate pattern of aperture changes over the course of a light cycle. These aperture changes were tightly correlated with changes in chamber CO2 concentration (r2=0.83). Changes in chamber [CO2] resulted, in turn, from substantial daily fluctuations in ambient [CO2], typical of the Los Angeles environment with a constant offset caused by photosynthesis and respiration of the plants within the chamber. The dominant role of the stomatal response to CO2 in the control of aperture was confirmed by manipulation of chamber [CO2]. Fast (15 min) increases and decreases in [CO2] caused rapid decreases and increases in aperture, while constant |CO2] resulted in constant aperture. In contrast, aperture changes in comparable plants grown under greenhouse conditions were tightly correlated with changes in incident solar radiation (r2=0.80), and poorly correlated with changes in [CO2] (r2=0.09). Greenhouse-grown plants transferred to growth chamber conditions showed no apparent response to CO2. These data indicate that growth-chamber-grown V, faba leaves provide an experimental system optimally suited for the study of the stomatal response to CO2, and suggest that acclimation to environmental conditions alters the sensitivity of stomata to CO2.
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