For an entire season of stomatal activity, leaf or needle conductance was observed on four species, each in a different genus: Engelmann spruce ( Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.), subalpine fir ( Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.), lodgepole pine ( Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.), and aspen ( Populus tremuloides Michx.). Conductance in the natural environment was described for all species by photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and absolute humidity difference from leaf to air (DAH), as follows: Conductance = b 1 (√PPFD/√DAH) + b 2 (√PPFD/DAH) + b 3 (√PPFD/DAH 2 ). The only data not fitting this relationship were conifer data collected after freezing nights or aspen data collected during a short period in August when water stress occurred. In both cases, leaf conductance was reduced. It is proposed that PPFD and DAH are primary factors controlling stomatal function for plants growing in their native range; secondary factors, such as temperature and water stress, affect conductance intermittently, except when plants are growing outside their normal environmental conditions.
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