Stomatal Physiology and Gas Exchange in the Field: Commentary

  • B. J. Legg
Conference paper


An optimisation theory of stomatal movement is used to show the type of survival strategy that plants might adopt during drought. The theory cannot readily be used to explain stomatal movement in cultivated crops, as they are now grown in an alien environment, but it could be used in future to determine the ideal response in any given climate.

There are still difficulties with all methods for measuring gas exchange in the field. Micrometeorological methods require a large uniform fetch and we cannot yet be sure that all the theoretical problems have been resolved. The use of field enclosures changes the environment around the vegetation: in recent studies this has not affected transpiration but has had a major effect on CO2 uptake rates. Combined micrometeorological-physiological methods are still the best in many situations, but we are not yet able to predict the surface resistance to water vapour loss for vegetation growing in dry soils.


Vapour Pressure Deficit Surface Resistance Bowen Ratio Stomatal Resistance Stomatal Movement 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Legg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Engineering ResearchSilsoe, BedfordUK

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