Callistemon is an Australian species used as ornamental plant in Mediterranean regions. The objective of this research was to analyse the ability of Callistemon to overcome water deficit in terms of adjusting its physiology and morphology. Potted Callistemon laevis Anon plants were grown in controlled environment and subjected to drought stress by reducing irrigation water by 40% compared to the control (irrigated to container capacity). The drought stress produced the smallest plants throughout the experiment. After three months of drought, the leaf area, number of leaves and root volume decreased, while root/shoot ratio and root density increased. The higher root hydraulic resistance in stressed plants caused decreases in leaf and stem water potentials resulting in lower stomatal conductance and indicating that water flow through the roots is a factor that strongly influences shoot water relations. The water stress affected transpiration (63% reduction compared with the control). The consistent decrease in gs suggested an adaptative efficient stomatal control of transpiration by this species, resulting in a higher intrinsic water use efficiency (Pn/gs) in drought conditions, increasing as the experimental time progressed. This was accompanied by an improvement in water use efficiency of production to maintain the leaf water status. In addition, water stress induced an active osmotic adjustment and led to decreases in leaf tissue elasticity in order to maintain turgor. Therefore, the water deficit produced changes in plant water relations, gas exchange and growth in an adaptation process which could promote the faster establishment of this species in gardens or landscaping projects in Mediterranean conditions.
|Autori:||Álvarez, S.;Navarro, A.;Nicolás, E.;Sánchez-Blanco, M.J.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Titolo:||Transpiration, photosynthetic responses, tissue water relations and dry mass partitioning in Callistemon plants during drought conditions|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|