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Optimization theory explains nighttime stomatal responses

Wang, Yujie and Anderegg, William R. L. and Venturas, Martin D. and Trugman, Anna T. and Yu, Kailiang and Frankenberg, Christian (2021) Optimization theory explains nighttime stomatal responses. New Phytologist, 230 (4). pp. 1550-1561. ISSN 0028-646X. doi:10.1111/nph.17267.

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Nocturnal transpiration is widely observed across species and biomes, and may significantly impact global water, carbon, and energy budgets. However, it remains elusive why plants lose water at night and how to model it at large scales. We hypothesized that plants optimize nighttime leaf diffusive conductance (g_(wn)) to balance potential daytime photosynthetic benefits and nocturnal transpiration benefits. We quantified nighttime benefits from respiratory reductions due to evaporative leaf cooling. We described nighttime costs in terms of a reduced carbon gain during the day because of water use at night. We measured nighttime stomatal responses and tested our model with water birch (Betula occidentalis) saplings grown in a glasshouse. The g_(wn) of water birch decreased with drier soil, higher atmospheric CO₂, wetter air, lower leaf temperature, and lower leaf respiration rate. Our model predicted all these responses correctly, except for the response of g_(wn) to air humidity. Our results also suggested that the slow decrease in g_(wn) after sunset could be associated with decreasing leaf respiration. The optimality‐based nocturnal transpiration model smoothly integrates with daytime stomatal optimization approaches, and thus has the potential to quantitatively predict nocturnal transpiration across space and time.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wang, Yujie0000-0002-3729-2743
Anderegg, William R. L.0000-0001-6551-3331
Venturas, Martin D.0000-0001-5972-9064
Trugman, Anna T.0000-0002-7903-9711
Yu, Kailiang0000-0003-4223-5169
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Additional Information:© 2021 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2021 New Phytologist Foundation. Issue Online: 15 April 2021; Version of Record online: 24 March 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 12 February 2021; Manuscript accepted: 02 February 2021; Manuscript received: 22 October 2020. Research Funding: David and Lucille Packard Foundation; NSF. Grant Numbers: 1714972, 1802880, 2003205, 2003205; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Programme. Grant Number: 2018‐67012‐31496; Ecosystem Services and Agro‐ecosystem Management. Grant Number: 2018‐67019‐27850; University of California Laboratory Fees Research Program. Grant Number: LFR‐20‐652467.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucille Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)2018‐67012‐31496
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)2018‐67019‐27850
University of CaliforniaLFR‐20‐652467
Subject Keywords:evaporative cooling; fitness; nocturnal transpiration; optimization; photosynthesis; respiration; stomatal conductance
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210212-133817842
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wang, Y., Anderegg, W.R.L., Venturas, M.D., Trugman, A.T., Yu, K. and Frankenberg, C. (2021), Optimization theory explains nighttime stomatal responses. New Phytol, 230: 1550-1561.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108048
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 21:58
Last Modified:23 Apr 2021 16:31

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