Abstract Young, amphistomatous hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides x trichocarpa) plants were exposed daily to either background (0.025 cm3 m‐3) or elevated (0.125 cm3 m‐3) concentrations of O3. Levels of abaxial and adaxial leaf conductance were affected interactively by pollutant treatment, leaf age, and photon fluence rate. Consequently, conductance in O3‐treated leaves was sometimes higher and sometimes lower than in comparable control leaves, depending on leaf age or level of photon fluence rate. For example, at low photon fluence rate or in the dark, conductance was greater in O3‐treated than in control plants, while at high photon fluence rate that relationship was reversed. Exposure to O3 also reduced the water‐use efficiency and range of leaf conductance of individual leaves, and altered the relationship between the conductances of the two leaf surfaces (the ratio of abaxial to adaxial leaf conductance was increased). Furthermore, O3 treatment resulted in diminished stomatal control of water loss; excised O3‐treated leaves had higher conductances and wilted sooner than excised control leaves of identical ages. Overall, the data indicate that exposure to O3 resulted in impaired stomatal function.
- Populus deltoides x trichocarpa
- air pollution
- hybrid poplar
- leaf conductance
- water‐use efficiency