Catalog Home Page

Leaf growth, photosynthesis and tissue water relations of greenhouse-grown Eucalyptus marginata seedlings in response to water deficits

Stoneman, G.L., Turner, N.C. and Dell, B. (1994) Leaf growth, photosynthesis and tissue water relations of greenhouse-grown Eucalyptus marginata seedlings in response to water deficits. Tree Physiology, 14 (6). pp. 633-646.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/14.6.633
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

Leaf growth, rate of leaf photosynthesis and tissue water relations of shoots of Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm. (jarrah) seedlings were studied during a soil drying and rewatering cycle in a greenhouse experiment. Rates of leaf growth and photosynthesis were sensitive to water deficits. The rate of leaf growth decreased linearly with predawn leaf water potential to reach zero at –1.5 MPa. Rate of leaf growth did not recover completely within the first three days after rewatering. Midday photosynthetic rates declined to 40% of those of well-watered seedlings at a predawn leaf water potential of –1.0 MPa and reached zero at –2.2 MPa. Photosynthetic rate recovered rapidly following rewatering and almost fully recovered by the second day after rewatering. All tissue water relations parameters, except the bulk modulus of elasticity, changed significantly as the soil dried and recovered completely by the third day after rewatering. Changes in osmotic pressure at full turgor of 0.4 MPa indicated considerable capacity for osmotic adjustment. However, because there was little osmotic adjustment until predawn leaf water potential fell below –1.5 MPa, this capacity would not have enhanced seedling growth, although it may have increased seedling survival. The sensitivity of photosynthesis and relative water content to water deficits suggests that greenhouse-grown E. marginata seedlings behave like mesophytic plants, even though E. marginata seedlings naturally grow in a drought-prone environment.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © 1994 Heron Publishing
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/23642
Item Control Page Item Control Page