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How the Plant Temperature Links to the Air Temperature in the Desert Plant Artemisia ordosica.


ABSTRACT: Plant temperature (Tp) is an important indicator of plant health. To determine the dynamics of plant temperature and self-cooling ability of the plant, we measured Tp in Artemisia ordosica in July, in the Mu Us Desert of Northwest China. Related factors were also monitored to investigate their effects on Tp, including environmental factors, such as air temperature (Ta), relative humidity, wind speed; and physiological factors, such as leaf water potential, sap flow, and water content. The results indicate that: 1) Tp generally changes in conjunction with Ta mainly, and varies with height and among the plant organs. Tp in the young branches is most constant, while it is the most sensitive in the leaves. 2) Correlations between Tp and environmental factors show that Tp is affected mainly by Ta. 3) The self-cooling ability of the plant was effective by midday, with Tp being lower than Ta. 4) Increasing sap flow and leaf water potential showed that transpiration formed part of the mechanism that supported self-cooling. Increased in water conductance and specific heat at midday may be additional factors that contribute to plant cooling ability. Therefore, our results confirmed plant self-cooling ability. The response to high temperatures is regulated by both transpiration speed and an increase in stem water conductance. This study provides quantitative data for plant management in terms of temperature control. Moreover, our findings will assist species selection with taking plant temperature as an index.

SUBMITTER: Yu MH 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4539227 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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