Supplementary material from "Stomatal design principles in synthetic and real leaves"

Published on 2016-10-18T14:18:29Z (GMT) by
Stomata are portals in plant leaves that control gas exchange for photosynthesis, a process fundamental to life on the Earth. Gas fluxes and plant productivity depend on external factors such as light, water and CO<sub>2</sub> availability and on geometrical properties of the stomata pores. The link between stomata geometry and environmental factors has informed a wide range of scientific fields - from agriculture to climate science, where observed variations in stomata size and density are used to infer prehistoric atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> content. However, the physical mechanisms and design principles, responsible for major trends in stomatal patterning, are not well understood. Here, we use a combination of biomimetic experiments and theory to rationalize the observed changes in stomatal geometry. We show that the observed correlations between stomatal size and density are consistent with the hypothesis that plants favour efficient use of space and maximum control of dynamic gas conductivity, and that the capacity for gas exchange in plants has remained constant over at least the last 325 myr. Our analysis provides a new measure to gauge the relative performance of species based on their stomatal characteristics.

Cite this collection

A. Zwieniecki, Maciej; Haaning, Katrine S.; Boyce, C. Kevin; Jensen, Kaare H. (2016): Supplementary material from "Stomatal design principles in synthetic and real leaves". The Royal Society.