Influence of leaf age and light environment on the gas exchange of lupins and wheat

Ian E. Henson, Christian R. Jensen, Neil C. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Rates of net photosynthesis (A), transpiration (E) and leaf conductance to water vapour transfer (gH2O) were measured on leaves of Lupinus angustifolius L. cv. Ritson's and L. cosentinii Guss. cv. Eregulla throughout development and on flag leaves of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cvs Gutha, Gamenya and Warigal) after full expansion. Plants were grown in large containers of soil, in a naturally‐lit, temperature controlled glasshouse. Throughout most of their life, lupin leaves had higher photosynthetic rates and leaf conductances than found for wheat. During leaf ageing in lupins, photosynthesis and conductance changed proportionately such that leaf intercellular CO2 concentration was maintained relatively constant at about 200 ppm. Under continuously cloudy conditions, leaf conductance at midday of lupins and wheat was higher than at similar photon flux densities at other times of day on cloudless days. On cloudy days the relationship between gH2O and photon flux density in lupins was very different from that derived from diurnal measurements on clear days. The potentially low water use efficiency under cloud, evident as decreases in the A/gH2O ratio, was rarely realised in practise due to a reduction in leaf‐to‐air water vapour concentration difference on cloudy days. The possible reasons for the high conductance on cloudy days are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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