Water relations and stomatal characteristics of Mediterranean plants with different growth forms and leaf habits: responses to water stress and recovery
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- Galmés, J., Flexas, J., Savé, R. et al. Plant Soil (2007) 290: 139. doi:10.1007/s11104-006-9148-6
The aim of this study was to extent the range of knowledge about water relations and stomatal responses to water stress to ten Mediterranean plants with different growth forms and leaf habits. Plants were subjected to different levels of water stress and a treatment of recovery. Stomatal attributes (stomatal density, StoD), stomatal conductance (gs), stomatal responsiveness to water stress (SR), leaf water relations (pre-dawn and midday leaf water potential and relative water content), soil to leaf apparent hydraulic conductance (KL) and bulk modulus of elasticity (ε) were determined. The observed wide range of water relations and stomatal characteristics was found to be partially depended on the growth form. Maximum gs was related to StoD and the stomatal area index (SAI), while gs evolution after water stress and recovery was highly correlated with KL. Relationships between SR to water deficit and other morphological leaf traits, such as StoD, LMA or ε, provided no general correlations when including all species. It is concluded that a high variability is present among Mediterranean plants reflecting a continuum of leaf water relations and stomatal behaviour in response to water stress.