Variation in xylem structure and function in roots and stems of scion–rootstock combinations of sweet cherry tree (Prunus avium L.)
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Gonçalves, B., Correia, C.M., Silva, A.P. et al. Trees (2007) 21: 121. doi:10.1007/s00468-006-0102-2
- 507 Downloads
To assess hydraulic architecture and limitations to water transport across scion–rootstock combinations (Prunus avium L. cultivar Van grafted on five differing size-controlling rootstocks: P. avium (vigorous) > CAB 11E > Maxma 14 > Gisela 5 > Edabriz (dwarfing)), we compared xylem anatomy, and calculated relative hydraulic conductivity (RC) and vulnerability index (VI) of roots (small, medium and large diameter) and stems. Water relations, leaf gas exchange and variations in growth were also determined. Roots exhibited larger-diameter xylem conduits (VD), greater RC and VI than stems in all Van–rootstock combinations. Moreover, there was a significantly higher vessel frequency (VF), lower VD, RC and VI in dwarfed trees, especially grafted on Gisela 5 than trees on the invigorating rootstocks, P. avium L., CAB 11E and Maxma 14. Anatomical constraints on water status imposed by the smaller VD (and/or in lower xylem thickness and root system length) of dwarfed trees imply a series of negative feedbacks, like a decrease in RC, stem water potential, leaf gas exchange and growth. On the other hand, Van grafted on CAB 11E and Maxma 14, with wide vessels and high VI, could be more susceptible to embolism, especially during periods of severe water stress, than trees on dwarfing rootstocks, which had small vessels and low VI.