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Drought acclimation of Quercus ilex leaves improves tolerance to moderate drought but not resistance to severe water stress

Abstract : Increasing temperature and drought can result in leaf dehydration and defoliation even in drought-adapted tree species such as the Mediterranean evergreen Quercus ilex L. The stomatal regulation of leaf water potential plays a central role in avoiding this phenomenon and is constrained by a suite of leaf traits including hydraulic conductance and vulnerability, hydraulic capacitance, minimum conductance to water vapor, osmotic potential and cell wall elasticity. We investigated whether the plasticity in these traits may improve leaf tolerance to drought in two long-term rainfall exclusion experiments in Mediterranean forests. Osmotic adjustment was observed to lower the water potential at turgor loss in the rainfall-exclusion treatments, thus suggesting a stomatal closure at more negative water potentials and a more anisohydric behavior in drier conditions. Conversely, leaf hydraulic conductance and vulnerability did not exhibit any plasticity between treatments so the hydraulic safety margins were narrower in the rainfall-exclusion treatments. The sequence of leaf responses to seasonal drought and dehydration was conserved among treatments and sites but trees were more likely to suffer losses of turgor and hydraulic functioning in the rainfall-exclusion treatments. We conclude that leaf plasticity might help the trees to tolerate moderate drought but not to resist severe water stress.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03739458
Contributor : Jean-Marc Limousin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 2:58:31 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:44:08 PM

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Jean-Marc Limousin, Amélie Roussel, Jesús Rodríguez-Calcerrada, José M Torres-Ruiz, Myriam Moreno, et al.. Drought acclimation of Quercus ilex leaves improves tolerance to moderate drought but not resistance to severe water stress. Plant, Cell and Environment, Wiley, 2022, 45 (7), pp.1967-1984. ⟨10.1111/pce.14326⟩. ⟨hal-03739458⟩

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