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Towards a unified theory of plant photosynthesis and hydraulics

Joshi, J and Stocker, BD and Hofhansl, F and Zhou, S and Dieckmann, U and Prentice, IC (2022) Towards a unified theory of plant photosynthesis and hydraulics. In: Nature Plants .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-022-01244-5


The global carbon and water cycles are governed by the coupling of CO2 and water vapour exchanges through the leaves of terrestrial plants, controlled by plant adaptations to balance carbon gains and hydraulic risks. We introduce a trait-based optimality theory that unifies the treatment of stomatal responses and biochemical acclimation of plants to environments changing on multiple timescales. Tested with experimental data from 18 species, our model successfully predicts the simultaneous decline in carbon assimilation rate, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity during progressive soil drought. It also correctly predicts the dependencies of gas exchange on atmospheric vapour pressure deficit, temperature and CO2. Model predictions are also consistent with widely observed empirical patterns, such as the distribution of hydraulic strategies. Our unified theory opens new avenues for reliably modelling the interactive effects of drying soil and rising atmospheric CO2 on global photosynthesis and transpiration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Nature Plants
Publisher: Nature Research
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author(s).
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2022 06:04
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 06:04
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/77834

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