Leaf resistance of Sesamum indicum L. increased when the humidity gradient between leaf and air was increased, at moderate temperatures, even though calculated carbon dioxide concentrations within the leaf decreased slightly. Mesophyll resistance remained relatively constant when humidity gradients were changed, indicating that the increases in leaf resistance were mainly caused by reductions in stomatal aperture and that nonstomatal aspects of photosynthesis and respiration were not affected. Low carbon dioxide concentrations inside the leaf decreased but did not eliminate resistance response to the humidity gradient. Internal carbon dioxide concentrations had little effect on resistance in humid air but had moderate effects on resistance with large humidity gradients between leaf and air. Stomatal response to humidity was not present at high leaf temperatures. Effects of humidity gradients on photosynthetic and stomatal responses to temperature suggested that large humidity gradients may contribute to mid-day closure of stomata and depressions in photosynthesis.
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