Recovery of Physiological Traits in Saplings of Invasive Bischofia Tree Compared with Three Species Native to the Bonin Islands under Successive Drought and Irrigation Cycles.
ABSTRACT: Partial leaf shedding induced by hydraulic failure under prolonged drought can prevent excess water consumption, resulting in delayed recovery of carbon productivity following rainfall. To understand the manner of water use of invasive species in oceanic island forests under a fluctuating water regime, leaf shedding, multiple physiological traits, and the progress of embolism in the stem xylem under repeated drought-irrigation cycles were examined in the potted saplings of an invasive species, Bischofia javanica Blume, and three endemic native species, Schima mertensiana (Sieb. Et Zucc,) Koitz., Hibiscus glaber Matsum, and Distylium lepidotum Nakai, from the Bonin Islands, Japan. The progress of xylem embolism was observed by cryo-scanning electron microscopy. The samples exhibited different processes of water saving and drought tolerance based on the different combinations of partial leaf shedding involved in embolized conduits following repeated de-rehydration. Predawn leaf water potential largely decreased with each successive drought-irrigation cycle for all tree species, except for B. javanica. B. javanica shed leaves conspicuously under drought and showed responsive stomatal conductance to VPD, which contributed to recover leaf gas exchange in the remaining leaves, following a restored water supply. In contrast, native tree species did not completely recover photosynthetic rates during the repeated drought-irrigation cycles. H. glaber and D. lepidotum preserved water in vessels and adjusted leaf osmotic rates but did not actively shed leaves. S. mertensiana exhibited partial leaf shedding during the first cycle with an osmotic adjustment, but they showed less responsive stomatal conductance to VPD. Our data indicate that invasive B. javanica saplings can effectively use water supplied suddenly under drought conditions. We predict that fluctuating precipitation in the future may change tree distributions even in mesic or moist sites in the Bonin Islands.
Project description:Although atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (VPD) has been widely recognized as the evaporative driving force for water transport, the potential to reduce plant water consumption and improve water productivity by regulating VPD is highly uncertain. To bridge this gap, water transport in combination with plant productivity was examined in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants grown under contrasting VPD gradients. The driving force for water transport was substantially reduced in low-VPD treatment, which consequently decreased water loss rate and moderated plant water stress: leaf desiccation, hydraulic limitation and excessive negative water potential were prevented by maintaining water balance. Alleviation in water stress by reducing VPD sustained stomatal function and photosynthesis, with concomitant improvements in biomass and fruit production. From physiological perspectives, suppression of the driving force and water flow rate substantially reduced cumulative transpiration by 19.9%. In accordance with physiological principles, irrigation water use efficiency as criterions of biomass and fruit yield in low-VPD treatment was significantly increased by 36.8% and 39.1%, respectively. The reduction in irrigation was counterbalanced by input of fogging water to some extent. Net water saving can be increased by enabling greater planting densities and improving the evaporative efficiency of the mechanical system.
Project description:Bioenergy sorghum is targeted for production in water-limited annual cropland therefore traits that improve plant water capture, water use efficiency, and resilience to water deficit are necessary to maximize productivity. A crop modeling framework, APSIM, was adapted to predict the growth and biomass yield of energy sorghum and to identify potentially useful traits for crop improvement. APSIM simulations of energy sorghum development and biomass accumulation replicated results from field experiments across multiple years, patterns of rainfall, and irrigation schemes. Modeling showed that energy sorghum's long duration of vegetative growth increased water capture and biomass yield by ~30% compared to short season crops in a water-limited production region. Additionally, APSIM was extended to enable modeling of VPD-limited transpiration traits that reduce crop water use under high vapor pressure deficits (VPDs). The response of transpiration rate to increasing VPD was modeled as a linear response until a VPD threshold was reached, at which the slope of the response decreases, representing a range of responses to VPD observed in sorghum germplasm. Simulation results indicated that the VPD-limited transpiration trait is most beneficial in hot and dry regions of production where crops are exposed to extended periods without rainfall during the season or to a terminal drought. In these environments, slower but more efficient transpiration increases biomass yield and prevents or delays the exhaustion of soil water and onset of leaf senescence. The VPD-limited transpiration responses observed in sorghum germplasm increased biomass accumulation by 20% in years with lower summer rainfall, and the ability to drastically reduce transpiration under high VPD conditions could increase biomass by 6% on average across all years. This work indicates that the productivity and resilience of bioenergy sorghum grown in water-limited environments could be further enhanced by development of genotypes with optimized VPD-limited transpiration traits and deployment of these crops in water limited growing environments. The energy sorghum model and VPD-limited transpiration trait implementation are made available to simulate performance in other target environments.
Project description:The influence of different levels of irrigation and of variation in atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (VPD) on the synthesis, metabolism, and transport of abscisic acid (ABA) and the effects on stomatal conductance were examined in field-grown Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines. Xylem sap, leaf tissue, and root tissue were collected at regular intervals during two seasons in conjunction with measurements of leaf water potential (?leaf) and stomatal conductance (gs). The different irrigation levels significantly altered the ?leaf and gs of the vines across both seasons. ABA abundance in the xylem sap was correlated with gs. The expression of genes associated with ABA synthesis, NCED1 and NCED2, was higher in the roots than in the leaves throughout and highest in the roots in mid January, a time when soil moisture declined and VPD was at its highest. Their expression in roots was also inversely related to the levels of irrigation and correlated with ABA abundance in the roots, xylem sap, and leaves. Three genes encoding ABA 8'-hydroxylases were isolated and their identities confirmed by expression in yeast cells. The expression of one of these, Hyd1, was elevated in leaves when VPD was below 2.0-2.5 kPa and minimal at higher VPD levels. The results provide evidence that ABA plays an important role in linking stomatal response to soil moisture status and that changes in ABA catabolism at or near its site of action allows optimization of gas exchange to current environmental conditions.
Project description:Background and Aims Root hydraulic limitations (i.e. intra-plant restrictions to water movement) may be related to crop performance under drought, and groupings in the hydraulic function of drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible rice (Oryza sativa) varieties have been previously reported. This study aimed to better understand the environmental and physiological relationships with rice root hydraulics under drought. Methods Xylem sap bleeding rates in the field (gsap g-1shoot) were measured on seasonal and diurnal time frames, during which time environmental conditions were monitored and physiological measurements were conducted. Complementary experiments on the effects of vapour pressure deficit (VPD) on root hydraulic conductivity and on transpiration rates of de-rooted tillers were conducted in growth chambers. Key Results The diurnal effects on bleeding rate were more closely related to irradiance than VPD, and VPD effects on root hydraulic conductivity measured on 21-day-old plants were due to effects on plant growth including root surface area, maximum root depth and root:shoot ratio. Leaf osmotic potential was related to the grouping of drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible varieties in rice root hydraulics, and these groupings were independent of differences in phenology. Low single-tiller bleeding rates were observed under high evapo-transpirational demand, higher bleeding rates were observed at more negative leaf osmotic potentials in drought-susceptible varieties, and drought-tolerant and susceptible varieties differed in the VPD-induced increase in transpiration rates of de-rooted tillers. Low root suberin amounts in some of the drought-susceptible varieties may have resulted in higher ion transport, as evidenced by higher sap K+ concentration and higher bleeding rates in those varieties. Conclusions These results provide evidence of the environmental effects on shoots that can influence root hydraulics. The consistent groupings of drought-tolerant and susceptible varieties suggest that traits affecting plant osmotic status may regulate root hydraulic response to drought in rice.
Project description:Hydraulic failure and carbon starvation are recognized as main causes of drought-induced forest decline. As water transport and carbon dynamics are strictly interdependent, it is necessary to clarify how dehydration-rehydration cycles are affecting the relations between stem embolism and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). This is particularly needed for conifers whose embolism repair capability is still controversial. Potted Norway spruce saplings underwent two drought-re-irrigation cycles of same intensity, but performed in two consecutive summers. During the second cycle, stem percent loss of hydraulic conductivity (PLC) and NSC content showed no carry-over effects from the previous drought, indicating complete long-term recovery. The second drought treatment induced moderate PLC (20%) and did not affect total NSCs content, while starch was converted to soluble sugars in the bark. After one week of re-irrigation, PLC recovered to pre-stress values (0%) and NSCs were depleted, only in the wood, by about 30%. Our data suggest that spruce can repair xylem embolism and that, when water is newly available, NSCs stored in xylem parenchyma can be mobilized over short term to sustain respiration and/or for processes involved in xylem transport restoration. This, however, might imply dependency on sapwood NSC reserves for survival, especially if frequent drought spells occur.
Project description:Water scarcity in the Mediterranean area is very common and understanding responses to drought is important for loquat management and production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of drought on the growth and metabolism of loquat. Ninety two-year-old plants of 'Marchetto' loquat grafted on quince were grown in the greenhouse in 12-liter pots and three irrigation regimes were imposed starting on 11 May and lasting until 27 July, 2013. One-third of the plants was irrigated with 100% of the water consumed (well watered, WW), a second group of plants was irrigated with 66% of the water supplied to the WW plants (mild drought, MD), and a third group was irrigated with 33% of the water supplied to the WW plants (severe drought, SD). Minimum water potential levels of -2.0 MPa were recorded in SD plants at the end of May. Photosynthetic rates were reduced according to water supply (WW>MD>SD), especially during the morning hours. By the end of the trial, severe drought reduced all growth parameters and particularly leaf growth. Drought induced early accumulation of sorbitol in leaves, whereas other carbohydrates were not affected. Of over 100 leaf metabolites investigated, 9 (squalene, pelargonic acid, glucose-1-phosphate, palatinol, capric acid, aconitic acid, xylitol, lauric acid, and alanine) were found to be useful to discriminate between the three irrigation groups, suggesting their involvement in loquat metabolism under drought conditions. Loquat behaved as a moderately drought-tolerant species (limited stem water potential and growth reductions) and the accumulation of sorbitol in favor of sucrose in mildly-stressed plants may be considered an early protective mechanism against leaf dehydration and a potential biochemical marker for precise irrigation management.
Project description:Warming and drought will occur with increased frequency and intensity at high latitudes in the future. How heat and water stress can influence tree mortality is incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate how carbon resources, stem hydraulics, and wood anatomy and density determine the ability of black spruce saplings to survive daytime or night-time warming (+ 6 °C in comparison with control) in combination with a drought period. Plant water relations, the dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates and starch, mortality rate, and wood anatomy and density of saplings were monitored. Warming, in conjunction with 25 d of water deficit, increased sapling mortality (10% and 20% in night-time and daytime warming, respectively) compared with the control conditions (0.8%). Drought substantially decreased gas exchange, and also pre-dawn and mid-day leaf water potential to values close to -3MPa which probably induced xylem embolism (xylem air entry point, P??, being on average around -3MPa for this species). In addition, the recovery of gas exchange never reached the initial pre-stress levels, suggesting a possible loss of xylem hydraulic conductivity associated with cavitation. Consequently, mortality may be due to xylem hydraulic failure. Warmer temperatures limited the replenishment of starch reserves after their seasonal minimum. Lighter wood was formed during the drought period, reflecting a lower carbon allocation to cell wall formation, preventing the adaptation of the hydraulic system to drought. Saplings of black spruce experienced difficulty in adapting under climate change conditions, which might compromise their survival in the future.
Project description:The evergreen C<sub>3</sub> plant <i>Calotropis procera</i> is native to arid environments. Thus, it grows under high vapor pressure deficit (VPD), intense light, and severe drought conditions. We measured several ecophysiological traits in <i>C. procera</i> plants growing in semi-arid and seacoast environments to assess the attributes that support its photosynthetic performance under these contrasting conditions. Gas exchange analysis, primary metabolism content, nutrients, the antioxidant system, and leaf anatomy traits were measured under field conditions. In the semi-arid environment, <i>C. procera</i> was exposed to a prolonged drought season with a negative soil water balance during the 2 years of the study. <i>Calotropis procera</i> plants were exposed to a positive soil water balance only in the rainy season in the seacoast environment. The leaves of <i>C. procera</i> showed the same photosynthetic rate under high or low VPD, even in dry seasons with a negative soil water balance. Photosynthetic pigments, leaf sugar content, and the activity of antioxidant enzymes were increased in both places in the dry season. However, the anatomical adjustments were contrasting: while, in the semi-arid environment, mesophyll thickness increased in the driest year, in the seacoast environment, the cuticle thickness and trichome density were increased. The ability to maintain photosynthetic performance through the seasons would be supported by new leaves with different morpho-anatomical traits, with contrasting changes between semi-arid and seacoast environments. Furthermore, our results suggest that an efficient antioxidative system and leaf sugar dynamics can contribute to protecting the photosynthetic machinery even under severe drought.
Project description:Due to the fluctuating water availability in the arboreal habitat, epiphytic plants are considered vulnerable to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances. Although co-occurring taxa have been observed divergent adaptive performances in response to drought, the underlying physiological and morphological mechanisms by which epiphyte species cope with water stress remain poorly understood. In the present study, two co-occurring epiphytic orchids with different phenologies were selected to investigate their drought-resistance performances. We compared their functional traits, and monitored their physiological performances in a 25-days of drought treatment. In contrast to the deciduous species Pleione albiflora, the evergreen species Coelogyne corymbosa had different root anatomical structures and higher values for saturated water content of pseudobulbs. Moreover, plants of C. corymbosa had thicker leaves and epidermis, denser veins and stomata, and higher values for leaf mass per unit area and the time required to dry saturated leaves to 70% relative water content. However, samples from that species had lower values for net photosynthetic rate (A n), stomatal length and chlorophyll content per unit dry mass. Nevertheless, due to greater capacity for water storage and conservation, C. corymbosa maintained higher A n, stomatal conductance (g s), and instantaneous water-use efficiency during severe drought period, and their values for leaf water potential were higher after the water stress treatment. By Day 10 after irrigation was restarted, only C. corymbosa plants recovered their values for A n and g s to levels close to those calculated prior to the imposition of water stress. Our results suggest that the different performance responding to drought and re-watering in two co-occurring epiphytic orchids is related to water-related traits and these two species have divergent adaptive mechanisms. Overall, C. corymbosa demonstrates drought avoidance by enhancing water uptake and storage, and by reducing water losses while P. albiflora employs a drought escape strategy by fixing more carbon during growing season and shedding leaves and roots at dry season, leaving a dormant pseudobulb to minimize transpiration. These findings may improve our understanding of the potential effects that climate change can have on the population dynamics of different epiphytic taxa.
Project description:In order to design a water-saving and high-yield maize planting model suitable for semiarid areas, we conducted trials by combining supplementary irrigation with different planting densities. Three planting densities (L: 52,500, M: 75,000, and H: 97,500 plants ha<sup>-1</sup>) and four supplementary irrigation modes (NI: no irrigation; IV: 375 m<sup>3</sup> ha<sup>-1</sup> during the 11-leaf stage; IS: 375 m<sup>3</sup> ha<sup>-1</sup> in the silking stage; and IVS: 375 m<sup>3</sup> ha<sup>-1</sup> during both stages) were tested. The irrigation treatments significantly increased the leaf relative water content, but the high planting density significantly decreased the relative water content during the silking and filling stages. After supplementary irrigation during the 11-leaf stage, IV and IVS significantly increased the photosynthetic capacity, but decreased the leaf water use efficiency. IS and IVS significantly increased the photosynthetic capacity after supplementary irrigation in the silking stage over two years. During the filling stage, IV, IS, and IVS increased the two-year average net photosynthetic rate by 17.0%, 27.2%, and 30.3%, respectively. The intercellular CO<sub>2</sub> concentration increased as the density increased, whereas the stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, net photosynthetic rate, and leaf water use efficiency decreased, and the high planting density significantly reduced the leaf photosynthetic capacity. The highest grain yield was obtained using the IVS treatment under the medium planting density, but it did not differ significantly from that with the IS treatment. Furthermore, the IVS treatment used two times more water than the IS treatment. Thus, the medium planting density combined with supplementary irrigation during the silking stage was identified as a suitable water-saving planting model to improve the photosynthetic capacity and grain yield, and to cope with drought and water shortages in semiarid regions.