Doctor Yaojie Lu


Graduated PhD 2017

Thesis Title

Optimal and Competitive Stomatal Behaviour

Research Project

Yaojie LuAs both CO2 and water vapour pass through the stomatal aperture, plant CO2 uptake is always accompanied by water loss. The diffusion rates of both gases increase with stomatal conductance. Consequently, the dynamics of photosynthesis and transpiration are closely coupled by the behaviour of stomata. The physiology of photosynthesis and transpiration are each well studied, but their interdependence and how it responds to the changing environment are not fully understood yet. Thus, understanding stomatal behaviour is a prerequisite for reliable predictions of photosynthesis and transpiration.

I use mathematical theories like calculus of variations and evolutionary stable strategy to estimate the response of plant stomatal conductance to soil water content in different rainfall regimes and at different CO2 levels. The results of this work will contribute to the understanding of 1) the optimal stomatal behaviour of plants for maximizing long-term carbon gain and 2) the impact of water competition on this optimal behaviour.


Lu Y, Duursma RA, Farrior CE, Medlyn BE, Feng X, (2020) 'Optimal stomatal drought response shaped by competition for water and hydraulic risk can explain plant trait covariation', New Phytologist, vol.225, no.3, pp 1206-1217, Special Issue: SI

Lu Y, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2016) 'Optimal stomatal behaviour under stochastic rainfall', Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol.394, pp 160-171


A/Professor Remko Duursma and Professor Belinda Medlyn