Rosas T., Galiano L., Ogaya R., Penuelas J., Martinez-Vilalta J. (2013) Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in three mediterranean woody species following long-term experimental drought. Frontiers in Plant Science. 4: 0-0.EnllaçDoi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00400
Stored non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) have been proposed as a key determinant of drought resistance in plants. However, the evidence for this role is controversial, as it comes mostly from observational, short-term studies. Here, we take advantage of a long-term experimental throughfall reduction to elucidate the response of NSC to increased drought 14 years after the beginning of the treatment in three Mediterranean resprouter trees (Quercus ilex L., Arbutus unedo L. and Phillyrea latifclia L.). In addition, we selected 20. Q. ilex individuals outside the experimental plots to directly assess the relationship between defoliation and NSC at the individual level. We measured the seasonal course of NSC concentrations in leaves, branches and lignotuber in late winter, late spring, summer, and autumn 2012. Total concentrations of NSC were highest in the lignotuber for all species. In the long-term drought experiment we found significant depletion in concentrations of total NSC in treatment plots only in the lignotuber of A. unedo. At the same time, A. unedo was the only species showing a significant reduction in BAI under the drought treatment during the 14 years of the experiment. By contrast, Q. ilex just reduced stem growth only during the first 4 years of treatment and P latifclia remained unaffected over the whole study period. However, we found a clear association between the concentrations of NSC and defoliation in Q. ilex individuals sampled outside the experimental plots, with lower total concentrations of NSC and lower proportion of starch in defoliated individuals. Taken together, our results suggest that stabilizing processes, probably at the stand level, may have been operating in the long-term to mitigate any impact of drought on NSC levels, and highlight the necessity to incorporate long-term experimental studies of plant responses to drought. © 2013 Rosas, Galiano, Ogaya, Peñuelas and Martínez-Vilalta.
Martínez-Vilalta J, Mangirón M, Ogaya R, Sauret M, Serrano L, Peñuelas J, Piñol J (2003) Sap flow of three co-occurring Mediterranean woody species under varying atmospheric and soil water conditions. Tree Physiology 23:747-758.
Ogaya R., Peñuelas J., Martínez-Vilalta J., Mangirón M. (2003) Effect of drought on diameter increment of Quercus ilex, Phillyrea latifolia, and Arbutus unedo in a holm oak forest of NE Spain. Forest Ecology and Management. 180: 175-184.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00598-4
The present study was carried out to elucidate the drought growth responses of Quercus ilex L., Phillyrea latifolia L., Arbutus unedo L., and other accompanying woody species of the Mediterranean holm oak forest. We submitted holm oak forest stands in Prades mountains (NE Spain) to a 2-year experimental drought. We reduced soil water availability about 15% by plastic strips and funnels that partially excluded rain throughfall and by ditch interception of water runoff. Mean stem diameter increment showed a great variation depending on the species. A. unedo had larger growth rates than Q. ilex and P. latifolia, but it was also the species that experimented the highest growth reduction in the drought plots (77%), suggesting a higher drought sensitivity than Q. ilex (55%) and P. latifolia (no drought effect). The growth reduction was specially marked in the larger trees. Aboveground stand biomass increment, estimated from stem diameter by allometric relationships, was 1.9 Mg ha-1 per year in the control plots. The 15% reduction in the upper soil moisture produced 42% reduction in this biomass increment. In the drier conditions predicted in this Mediterranean area in the frame of climate change, an important reduction of growth rates can be hence expected, accompanied by a gain of dominance of drought-tolerant species such as P. latifolia in detriment of more mesic species such as Q. ilex. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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