Imperial College London

Professor Iain Colin Prentice

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts



+44 (0)20 7594 2354c.prentice




1.1Centre for Population BiologySilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Lavergne, A and Voelker, S and Csank, A and Graven, H and de, Boer HJ and Daux, V and Robertson, I and Dorado-Linan, I and Martínez-Sancho, E and Battipaglia, G and Bloomfield, KJ and Still, C and Meinzer, FC and Dawson, TE and Camarero, JJ and Clisby, R and Fang, Y and Menzel, A and Keen, RM and Roden, JS and Prentice, I},
doi = {10.1111/nph.16314},
journal = {New Phytologist},
pages = {2484--2497},
title = {Historical changes in the stomatal limitation of photosynthesis: empirical support for an optimality principle},
url = {},
volume = {225},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The ratio of leafinternal (ci) to ambient (ca) partial pressure of CO2, defined here as χ, is an index of adjustments in both leaf stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate to environmental conditions. Measurements and proxies of this ratio can be used to constrain vegetation models uncertainties for predicting terrestrial carbon uptake and water use.We test a theory based on the leastcost optimality hypothesis for modelling historical changes in χ over the 19512014 period, across different tree species and environmental conditions, as reconstructed from stable carbon isotopic measurements across a global network of 103 absolutelydated treering chronologies. The theory predicts optimal χ as a function of air temperature, vapour pressure deficit, ca and atmospheric pressure.The theoretical model predicts 39% of the variance in χ values across sites and years, but underestimates the intersite variability in the reconstructed χ trends, resulting in only 8% of the variance in χ trends across years explained by the model.Overall, our results support theoretical predictions that variations in χ are tightly regulated by the four environmental drivers. They also suggest that explicitly accounting for the effects of plantavailable soil water and other sitespecific characteristics might improve the predictions.
AU - Lavergne,A
AU - Voelker,S
AU - Csank,A
AU - Graven,H
AU - de,Boer HJ
AU - Daux,V
AU - Robertson,I
AU - Dorado-Linan,I
AU - Martínez-Sancho,E
AU - Battipaglia,G
AU - Bloomfield,KJ
AU - Still,C
AU - Meinzer,FC
AU - Dawson,TE
AU - Camarero,JJ
AU - Clisby,R
AU - Fang,Y
AU - Menzel,A
AU - Keen,RM
AU - Roden,JS
AU - Prentice,I
DO - 10.1111/nph.16314
EP - 2497
PY - 2020///
SN - 0028-646X
SP - 2484
TI - Historical changes in the stomatal limitation of photosynthesis: empirical support for an optimality principle
T2 - New Phytologist
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 225
ER -