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Trends in stomatal density and 13C/12C ratios of Pinus flexilis needles during last glacial-interglacial cycle

Science

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Abstract

Measurements of stomatal density and ?? 13C of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) needles (leaves) preserved in pack rat middens from the Great Basin reveal shifts in plant physiology and leaf morphology during the last 30,000 years. Sites were selected so as to offset glacial to Holocene climatic differences and thus to isolate the effects of changing atmospheric CO2 levels. Stomatal density decreased ~17 percent and ?? 13C decreased ~1.5 per mil during deglaciation from 15,000 to 12,000 years ago, concomitant with a 30 percent increase in atmospheric CO2. Water-use efficiency increased ~15 percent during deglaciation, if temperature and humidity were held constant and the proxy values for CO2 and ?? 13C of past atmospheres are accurate. The ??13C variations may help constrain hypotheses about the redistribution of carbon between the atmosphere and biosphere during the last glacial-interglacial cycle.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Trends in stomatal density and 13C/12C ratios of Pinus flexilis needles during last glacial-interglacial cycle
Series title:
Science
Volume
264
Issue:
5156
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
239
Last page:
242