Hydrogel substrate amendment alleviates drought effects on young citrus plants Article Received: 01 April 2004 Accepted: 06 July 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Arbona, V., Iglesias, D.J., Jacas, J. et al. Plant Soil (2005) 270: 73. doi:10.1007/s11104-004-1160-0 Abstract
Water deficits affect citrus physiology, yield, fruit size and quality. Citrus can respond to drought stress conditions through endogenous hormonal regulation of water status and leaf abscission. In this work, we assayed the efficiency of an amendment to soilless media in delaying the drought stress effect in young citrus seedlings and trees. Substrate amendment promoted plant survival of citrus seedlings subjected to several cycles of drought stress and rehydration. In budded trees, the amendment increased substrate water content, leaf water potential, leaf number, root biomass, CO
2 assimilation and stomatal conductance over that of control plants growing in non-amended substrates. We conclude that the substrate amendment reduced the damaging effects of drought stress in citrus plants. The longer survival of seedlings in the amended treatment together with the reduction in leaf abscission and the improvement of physiological parameters, can account for a higher vigour of citrus grown under water stress conditions. Keywords ethylene hydrogel leaf abscission photosynthesis rate soilless media stomatal conductance References Agustí, M 1999 Preharvest factors affecting postharvest quality of citrus fruits Schirra, M eds. Advances in postharvest diseases and disorders control of citrus fruit Research Signpost Trivandrum,India 213 217 Google Scholar Al-Darby, A M 1996 The hydraulic properties of a sandy soil treated with gel-forming soil conditioner Soil Technol. 9 15 28 CrossRef Google Scholar
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