eCite Digital Repository

Acclimation to humidity modifies the link between leaf size and the density of veins and stomata


Carins Murphy, MR and Jordan, GJ and Brodribb, TJ, Acclimation to humidity modifies the link between leaf size and the density of veins and stomata, Plant, Cell and Environment, 37, (1) pp. 124-131. ISSN 1365-3040 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/pce.12136


The coordination of veins and stomata during leaf acclimation to sun and shade can be facilitated by differential epidermal cell expansion so large leaves with low vein and stomatal densities grow in shade, effectively balancing liquid- and vapour-phase conductances. As the difference in vapour pressure between leaf and atmosphere (VPD) determines transpiration at any given stomatal density, we predict that plants grown under high VPD will modify the balance between veins and stomata to accommodate greater maximum transpiration. Thus, we examined the developmental responses of these traits to contrasting VPD in a woody angiosperm (Toona ciliata M. Roem.) and tested whether the relationship between them was altered. High VPD leaves were one-third the size of low VPD leaves with only marginally greater vein and stomatal density. Transpirational homeostasis was thus maintained by reducing stomatal conductance. VPD acclimation changed leaf size by modifying cell number. Hence, plasticity in vein and stomatal density appears to be generated by plasticity in cell size rather than cell number. Thus, VPD affects cell number and leaf size without changing the relationship between liquid- and vapour-phase conductances. This results in inefficient acclimation to VPD as stomata remain partially closed under high VPD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:humidity, leaf size, vein density, leaf hydraulic conductance, stomatal conductance, stomatal density, vein density, VPD
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Carins Murphy, MR (Miss Madeline Carins Murphy)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
ID Code:88852
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP120101686)
Web of Science® Times Cited:133
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2014-02-18
Last Modified:2017-11-01

Repository Staff Only: item control page