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Imbricacy and Stomatal Wax Plugs Reduce Maximum Leaf Conductance in Southern Hemisphere Conifers

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Brodribb, TJ and Hill, RS (1997) Imbricacy and Stomatal Wax Plugs Reduce Maximum Leaf Conductance in Southern Hemisphere Conifers. Australian Journal of Botany, 45 (4). pp. 657-668. ISSN 0067-1924

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Abstract

An examination of the relationship between theoretical maximum leaf conductance as calculated from
stomatal dimensions, and measured maximum leaf conductance was undertaken in a group of Southern
Hemisphere conifers. The relative effects of stomatal wax plugs, found in most species of conifers in the
Southern Hemisphere, and imbricate leaf arrangement were expressed as a percentage inhibition of
maximum leaf conductance (gmax) calculated from the ratio of measured gmax to theoretical gmax.
Because of the similar stomatal dimensions of all species, measured gmax was proportional to stomatal
density in plugged and unplugged species, with species without wax plugs producing maximum leaf
conductances on average 91% of calculated gmax, while in species with plugged stomata measured gmax
was on average only 35% of theoretical gmax. There was no effect produced by imbricacy in itself, but
when combined with epistomy, gmax was significantly reduced to about 17% of theoretical gmax. This is
clearly illustrated by comparisons of juvenile–adult foliage, and closely related imbricate and nonimbricate
species. The adaptational advantages of imbricacy and wax plugs, and the potential for
inferring gmax of fossil taxa are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
Page Range: pp. 657-668
ISSN: 0067-1924
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1071/BT96060
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2007 21:52
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:25
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