The slope of assimilation rate against stomatal conductance should not be used as a measure of water use efficiency or stomatal control over assimilation

Chandra Bellasio*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Quantifying water use efficiency, and the impact of stomata on CO2 uptake are pivotal in physiology and efforts to improve crop yields. Although tempting, relying on regression slopes from assimilation-stomatal conductance plots to estimate water use efficiency or stomatal control over assimilation is erroneous. Through numerical simulations, I substantiate this assertion. I propose the term ‘instantaneous transpiration efficiency’ for the assimilation-to-transpiration ratio to avoid confusion with ‘intrinsic water use efficiency’ which refers to the assimilation-to-stomatal conductance ratio, and recommend to compute both metrics for each gas exchange data point.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-199
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhotosynthesis Research
    Volume158
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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