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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

Two undergrads improve plant carbon-cycle models

In the summer of 2012, two undergraduate students tackled a problem that plant ecology experts had overlooked for 30 years. The students demonstrated that different plant species vary in how they take in carbon dioxide and emit water through stomata, the pores in their leaves. The data boosted the accuracy of mathematical models of carbon and water fluxes through plant leaves by 30 to 60 percent.

The researchers, based at the University of Illinois, report their findings in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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