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Solar tracking response to drought in a desert annual

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Summary

The responses to drought of the solar tracking winter annualLupinus arizonicus (Wats.) were examined under field and laboratory growth regimes. Under drought conditions tracking movements were maintained until the plant reached the wilting point. The leaves and leaflets were observed to cup in response to decreases in the xylem water potential. This resulted in a negative, but linear relationship between the cosine of the angle of incidence of the direct solar beam upon the leaf and water potential. Leaf conductance was also significantly related to xylem water potential in natural populations. Leaf and leaflet cupping seem to be responding directly to changing plant water status, resulting in reduced solar radiation load to drought stressed plants. It is hypothesized that this property may have adaptive consequences in relation to the water relations, energy budget, and carbon balance of the plant.

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Correspondence to I. Forseth.

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Forseth, I., Ehleringer, J.R. Solar tracking response to drought in a desert annual. Oecologia 44, 159–163 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00572673

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Keywords

  • Water Potential
  • Drought Condition
  • Energy Budget
  • Carbon Balance
  • Wilt Point