Water use efficiency

Water use efficiency (WUE) is the amount of biomass produced by a plant divided by the amount of water lost through transpiration. As you might guess, higher is better. Higher carbon dioxide levels let plants keep their pores more closed so they lose less water.

Cheng et al. looked at global trends over 30 years (1982-2011) and found increases in both gross primary production and water use efficiency (an increase of over 20%).

Recent increases in terrestrial carbon uptake at little cost to the water cycle


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