Effects of a Heat Wave on Nocturnal Stomatal Conductance in Eucalyptus camaldulensis


Nocturnal transpiration constitutes a significant yet poorly understood component of the global water cycle. Modeling nocturnal transpiration has been complicated by recent findings showing that stomata respond differently to environmental drivers over day- vs. night-time periods. Here, we propose that nocturnal stomatal conductance depends on antecedent daytime conditions. We tested this hypothesis across six genotypes of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. growing under different CO2 concentrations (ambient vs. elevated) and exposed to contrasting temperatures (ambient vs. heat wave) for four days prior to the night of measurements, when all plants experienced ambient temperature conditions. We observed significant effects after the heat wave that led to 36% reductions in nocturnal stomatal conductance. The response was partly driven by changes in daytime stomatal behavior but additional factors may have come into play. We also observed significant differences in response to the heat wave across genotypes, likely driven by local adaptation to their climate of origin, but CO2 played no effect. Stomatal models may need to incorporate the role of antecedent effects to improve projections particularly after drastic changes in the environment such as heat waves.