The frequency and intensity of high-temperature stress events are expected to increase as climate change intensifies. Concomitantly, an increase in evaporative demand, driven in part by global warming, is also taking place worldwide. Despite this, studies examining high-temperature stress impacts on plant productivity seldom consider this interaction to identify traits enhancing yield resilience towards climate change. Further, new evidence documents substantial increases in plant transpiration rate in response to high-temperature stress even under arid environments, which raise a trade-off between the need for latent cooling dictated by excessive temperatures and the need for water conservation dictated by increasing evaporative demand. However, the mechanisms behind those responses, and the potential to design the next generation of crops successfully navigating this trade-off, remain poorly investigated. Here, we review potential mechanisms underlying reported increases in transpiration rate under high-temperature stress, within the broader context of their impact on water conservation needed for crop drought tolerance. We outline three main contributors to this phenomenon, namely stomatal, cuticular and water viscosity-based mechanisms, and we outline research directions aiming at designing new varieties optimized for specific temperature and evaporative demand regimes to enhance crop productivity under a warmer and dryer climate.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by USDA‐NIFA through the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (project# MIN‐13‐124) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (Contract No. 138815).
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- climate change
- heat stress
- plant cuticle
- vapour pressure deficit
- water viscosity