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We investigate the effects of the substrate-heater temperature on the expansion dynamics of laser plumes of complex oxides in oxygen atmosphere. We observed a considerable reduction of the background gas resistance to plume propagation as the substrate temperature was increased, leading to a remarkable change in the velocity of the species impacting the substrate during film growth. The deposition temperature thus influences film growth not only through its direct thermal effect on surface kinetics of adatoms, but also by affecting the energetic properties of the precursors in the gas phase. We interpret the results with a simplified model of plume front propagation, accounting for the change in the background gas density induced by the substrate temperature.