The effects of elevated CO2 and nitrogen fertilization on stomatal conductance estimated from 11 years of scaled sap flux measurements at Duke FACE.
In this study, we employ a network of thermal dissipation probes (TDPs) monitoring sap flux density to estimate leaf-specific transpiration (E(L)) and stomatal conductance (G(S)) in Pinus taeda (L.) and Liquidambar styraciflua L. exposed to +200 ppm atmospheric CO(2) levels (eCO(2)) and nitrogen fertilization. Scaling half-hourly measurements from hundreds of sensors over 11 years, we found that P. taeda in eCO(2) intermittently (49% of monthly values) decreased stomatal conductance (G(S)) relative to the control, with a mean reduction of 13% in both total E(L) and mean daytime G(S). This intermittent response was related to changes in a hydraulic allometry index (A(H)), defined as sapwood area per unit leaf area per unit canopy height, which decreased a mean of 15% with eCO(2) over the course of the study, due mostly to a mean 19% increase in leaf area (A(L)). In contrast, L. styraciflua showed a consistent (76% of monthly values) reduction in G(S) with eCO(2) with a total reduction of 32% E(L), 31% G(S) and 23% A(H) (due to increased A(L) per sapwood area). For L. styraciflua, like P. taeda, the relationship between A(H) and G(S) at reference conditions suggested a decrease in G(S) across the range of A(H). Our findings suggest an indirect structural effect of eCO(2) on G(S) in P. taeda and a direct leaf level effect in L. styraciflua. In the initial year of fertilization, P. taeda in both CO(2) treatments, as well as L. styraciflua in eCO(2), exhibited higher G(S) with N(F) than expected from shifts in A(H), suggesting a transient direct effect on G(S). Whether treatment effects on mean leaf-specific G(S) are direct or indirect, this paper highlights that long-term treatment effects on G(S) are generally reflected in A(H) as well.
Ward, EJ; Oren, R; Bell, DM; Clark, JS; McCarthy, HR; Kim, H-S; Domec, J-C
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