Long-term effects of drought on wild and cultivated plants in the Negev desert
- Cite this article as:
- Schulze, E.D., Hall, A.E., Lange, O.L. et al. Oecologia (1980) 45: 11. doi:10.1007/BF00346700
The relation between daily maximal rates of net photosynthesis and plant water status was studied during a dry season on irrigated and non-irrigated, naturally growing, perennial wild plants.
Species were examined which differ in phenology, leaf anatomy and morphology: Hammada scoparia, Artemisia herba-alba, Zygophyllum dumosum, and Reaumuria negevensis. Prumus armeniaca which was growing in the run-off farm at Avdat and which has mosomorphic leaves was included in the comparison. All plants differed in their seasonal change in plant water status, and in their seasonal change in daily maximal net photosynthesis. Rates of CO2 uptake were not uniquely related to simultanously measured leaf water potentials. Daily maximal rates of net photosynthesis of non-irrigated plants, and the difference between maximal CO2 uptake of irrigated and non-irrigated plants were examined in relation to pre-dawn water potential. Maximal net photosynthesis rates decreased very rapidly with decrease in pre-dawn water potential or, for Hammada scoparia, they decreased even with a constant level of pre-dawn water potential. Consequently, it was considered necessary to include both time and water potential in a parameter “bar day” describing the accumulated drought stress of the plants. All species showed the same relation between relative maximal net photosynthesis and drought experience as determined by cumulative daily addition of pre-dawn water potentials for the non-irrigated plants since the last rain.