Stomatal Diffusion Resistance of Snap Beans. I. Influence of Leaf-Water Potential 1


Concurrent measurements of abaxial and adaxial stomatal resistance and leaf-water potentials of snap beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in the field and growth chamber show that the stomata on the 2 surfaces of the leaflet react differently to water deficit. The stomata on the abaxial surface, which are about 7 times more numerous than on the adaxial surface, are not significantly affected at leaf-water potentials greater than —11 bars, but with further decrease in leaf-water potential, the resistance rapidly increases. On the other hand, the resistance of the adaxial stomata increases sharply at a leaf-water potential of about —8 bars and is constant at higher water potentials. The average stomatal resistance for both surfaces of the leaf, which is the major diffusive resistance to water vapor, to a first approximation acts as an on-off switch and helps prevent further decline in leaf-water potential. The relation between the leaf-water potential and the stomatal resistance links the soil-water potential to the transpiration stream as needed for soil-plant-atmosphere models.

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