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Interactive Effects of Elevated [CO2] and Soil Water Stress on Leaf Morphological and Anatomical Characteristic of Paper Birch Populations

DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2014.55084, PP. 691-703

Keywords: Carbon Dioxide Levels, Plasticity, Leaf Area, Stomatal Area, Stomatal Density, Pore Area and Guard Cell Width

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The leaf morphological and stomatal characteristics of four paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh) populations, grown at four treatment conditions of carbon dioxide [CO2] and soil water levels were investigated to determine whether future increases in atmospheric [CO2] and water deficit affected the leaf characteristics. The populations from Cussion Lake, Little Oliver, Skimikin and Wayerton were grown for 12 weeks under ambient (360 ppm) and elevated (720 ppm) [CO2] at both high and low water levels. The populations significantly differed in leaf area and stomatal characteristics due to the interaction effects of [CO2], water levels and population differences. Most leaf morphological characteristics and stomatal density varied due to the effects of [CO2] and/or populations, but not due to the effect of water levels. Although elevated [CO2] alone barely affected stomatal area of the birch populations, simultaneous elevated [CO


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