Contrasting anatomical and biochemical controls on mesophyll conductance across plant functional types - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles New Phytologist Year : 2022

Contrasting anatomical and biochemical controls on mesophyll conductance across plant functional types

Abstract

Summary Mesophyll conductance (gm) limits photosynthesis by restricting CO2 diffusion between the substomatal cavities and chloroplasts. Although it is known that gm is determined by both leaf anatomical and biochemical traits, their relative contribution across plant functional types (PFTs) is still unclear. We compiled a dataset of gm measurements and concomitant leaf traits in unstressed plants comprising 563 studies and 617 species from all major PFTs. We investigated to what extent g limits photosynthesis across PFTs, how gm relates to structural, anatomical, biochemical, and physiological leaf properties, and whether these relationships differ among PFTs. We found that gm imposes a significant limitation to photosynthesis in all C3 PFTs, ranging from 10–30% in most herbaceous annuals to 25–50% in woody evergreens. Anatomical leaf traits explained a significant proportion of the variation in g m ( R 2 > 0.3) in all PFTs except annual herbs, in which gm is more strongly related to biochemical factors associated with leaf nitrogen and potassium content. Our results underline the need to elucidate mechanisms underlying the global variability of gm. We emphasise the underestimated potential of gm for improving photosynthesis in crops and identify modifications in leaf biochemistry as the most promising pathway for increasing gm in these species.
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hal-04224602 , version 1 (02-10-2023)

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Jürgen Knauer, Matthias Cuntz, John R Evans, Ülo Niinemets, Tiina Tosens, et al.. Contrasting anatomical and biochemical controls on mesophyll conductance across plant functional types. New Phytologist, 2022, 236 (2), pp.357-368. ⟨10.1111/nph.18363⟩. ⟨hal-04224602⟩
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