Leaf stomatal characters influence the response of terrestrial evapotranspiration to climate change and are used as proxies for the reconstruction of past atmospheric [CO2]. We examined the phenotypic response of stomatal index (SI), density (SD) and aperture (AP) to rising atmospheric CO2 in 15 species after four years exposure to a field CO2 gradient (200 to 550 μmol mol−1 atmospheric [CO2]) or at three Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) sites. Along the CO2 gradient, SI and SD showed no evidence of a decline to increasing [CO2], while AP decreased slightly. There was no significant change in SI, SD or AP with CO2 across FACE experiments. Without evolutionary changes, SI and SD may not respond to atmospheric [CO2] in the field and are unlikely to decrease in a future high CO2 world.
Reid, C. D.,
Johnson, H. B.,
Smith, S. D.,
Wullschleger, S. D.,
Jackson, R. B.
On the relationship between stomatal characters and atmospheric CO2.
Geophysical Research Letters, 30(19),