Advertisement

Trees

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 515–521 | Cite as

Structural and functional plasticity of Quercus ilex seedlings of different provenances in Italy

  • L.  GrataniEmail author
  • M. Meneghini
  • P. Pesoli
  • M. F. Crescente
Original Article

Abstract

Functional and structural leaf traits of Quercus ilex seedlings originated from parent plant acorns from three different localities in Italy were studied. Acorns from three different localities along a gradient from the north to the south of Italy: Nago (site A) in the Garda Lake region at the northernmost limit of holm oak distribution area in Italy, Castelporziano near Rome (site B), at the centre of the distribution area, and Frassanito near Otranto (site C), in a drier area in the south of Italy. Morphological and anatomical leaf traits differed between the provenances with a higher leaf mass area, total leaf thickness and the ratio of palisade to mesophyll thickness in the driest provenance (C seedlings). These traits gave C seedlings a higher water use efficiency, relative water content at predawn and photosynthetic rates than the other provenances in high air temperature conditions. The smaller leaf area of A seedlings seemed to have a higher photosynthetic capacity in low air temperature conditions than B and C seedlings. Growth analysis underlined a higher shoot relative growth rate in B seedlings explaining the highest shoot length and leaf number per shoot. The plasticity index [sensu Valladares et al. (2000) Ecology 81:1925–1936] for physiological traits of the seedlings was higher than morphological and anatomical traits, but the largest differences in plasticity among ecotypes were found for morphological and anatomical traits. The ecotypes of Q. ilex studied here seemed to integrate, at leaf level, functions of growth activity, morphology and physiology related to the climate of the original provenance.

Keywords

Gas exchange Leaf anatomy Leaf morphology Leaf water status Plasticity index 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Prof. W. Larcher for helpful comments, Prof. F. Macchia and Dr. I. Bresciani for acorn collection. This paper was supported by the grants 00.00398.ST74 from the C.N.R., Rome (Italy).

References

  1. Ackerly DD, Dudley SA, Sultan SE, Schmitt J, Coleman JS, Linder R, Sandquist DR, Geber MA, Evans AS, Dawson TE, Lechowicz MJ (2000) The evolution of plant ecophysiological traits: recent advances and future directions. Bioscience 50:979–995Google Scholar
  2. Arntz AM, Delph F (2001) Pattern and process: evidence for the evolution of photosynthetic traits in natural populations. Oecologia 127:455–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbero M, Loisel R, Quézel P (1992) Biogeography, ecology and history of Mediterranean Quercus ilex ecosystems. Vegetatio 99–100:19–34Google Scholar
  4. Bongarten BC, Teskey RO (1986) Water relations of loblolly pine seedlings from diverse geographic origins. Tree Physiol 1:265–276Google Scholar
  5. Box EO, Choi JN (2000) Estimating species-based community integrity under global warming, with special reference to the western Mediterranean region. Phytocoenologia 30:335–352Google Scholar
  6. Castro-Díez P, Villar-Salvador P, Pérez-Rontomé C, Maestro-Martínez M, Montserrat-Martí G (1998) Leaf morphology, leaf chemical composition and stem xylem characteristics in two Pistacia (Anacardiaceae) species along a climatic gradient. Flora 193:195–202Google Scholar
  7. Ducousso A, Guyon JP, Krémer A (1996) Latitudinal and altitudinal variation of bud burst in western populations of sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt) Liebl.). Ann Sci For 53:775–782Google Scholar
  8. Fotelli MN, Radoglou KM, Constantinidou H-IA (2000) Water stress responses of seedlings of four Mediterranean oak species. Tree Physiol 20:1065–1075PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. García-Plazaola JI, Becerril JM (2000) Effects of drought on photoprotective mechanisms in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) seedlings from different provenances. Trees 14:485–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gisotti G, Collamarini D (1982) Suolo e vegetazione nella Tenuta di Castelporziano. Ist Graf Genio Rurale 9:35–56Google Scholar
  11. Gratani L (1995) Structural and ecophysiological plasticity of some evergreen species of the Mediterranean maquis in response to climate. Photosynthetica 31:335–343Google Scholar
  12. Gratani L (1996) Leaf and shoot growth dynamics of Quercus ilex L. Acta Oecol 17:17–27Google Scholar
  13. Gratani L, Bombelli A (2001) Forecasted stability of Mediterranean evergreen species considering global changes. In: Visconti G, Beniston M, Iannorelli ED, Barba D (eds) Global change and protected areas. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, pp 245–252Google Scholar
  14. Gratani L, Tisi F, Crescente MF, Pesoli P, Larcher W (1996) Phenology, leaf morphology and trends in CO2 uptake of Quercus ilex L. in the climax area and at its northern distribution limit in Italy. Arch Geobot 2:13–18Google Scholar
  15. Gratani L, Pesoli P, Crescente MF, Aichner K, Larcher W (2000a) Photosynthesis as a temperature indicator in Quercus ilex L. Glob Planet Change 24:153–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gratani L, Crescente MF, Petruzzi M (2000b) Relationship between leaf-span and photosynthetic activity of Quercus ilex L. in polluted urban areas (Rome). Environ Pollut 110:19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hallé F, Oldeman RAA, Tomlinson PB (1978) Tropical trees and forests: an architectural analysis. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Hunt R (1982) Plant growth curves. The functional approach to plant growth analysis. Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuiper D, Kuiper PJC (1988) Phenotypic plasticity in a physiological perspective. Acta Oecol/Oecol Plant 9:43–59Google Scholar
  20. Larcher W (2000) Temperature stress and survival ability of Mediterranean sclerophyllous plants. Plant Biosyst 134:279–295Google Scholar
  21. Michaud H, Lumaret R, Romane F (1992) Variation in the genetic structure and reproductive biology of holm oak populations. Vegetatio 99–100:107–113Google Scholar
  22. Mooney HA, West M (1964) Photosynthetic acclimation of plants of diverse origin. Am J Bot 51:825–827Google Scholar
  23. Müller-Stark G (1997) Biodiversität und nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft. Ecomed, Landsberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  24. Oleksyn J, Tjoelker MG, Reich PB (1992) Whole-plant CO2 exchange of seedlings of two Pinus sylvestris L. provenances grown under simulated photoperiodic condition of 50° and 60°N. Trees 6:225–231Google Scholar
  25. Oleksyn J, Modrzyński J, Tjoelker MG, Zytkowiak R, Reich PB, Karolewski P (1998) Growth and physiology of Picea abies populations from elevational transects: common garden evidence for altitudinal ecotypes and cold adaptation. Funct Ecol 12:573–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Palmroth S, Berninger F, Nikinmaa E, Lloyd J, Pulkkinen P, Hari P (1999) Structural adaptation rather than water conservation was observed in Scots pine over a range of wet to dry climates. Oecologia 121:302–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pereira JS, Chaves MM (1995) Plant responses to drought under climate changes in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. In: Moreno JM, Oechel WC (eds) Global change and Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Ecological studies 117. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 140–160Google Scholar
  28. Pesoli P, Gratani L, Larcher W (2003) Response of Quercus ilex from different provenances to experimentally imposed water stress. Biol Plant (in press)Google Scholar
  29. Petit C, Thompson JD, Bretagnolle (1996) Phenotypic plasticity in relation to ploidy level and corm production in the perennial grass Arrhenatherun eliatus. Can J Bot 74:1964–1973Google Scholar
  30. Peuke AD, Schraml C, Hartung W, Rennenberg H (2002) Identification of drought-sensitive beech ecotypes by physiological parameters. New Phytol 154:373–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pintado A, Valladares F, Sancho G (1997) Exploring phenotypic plasticity in the lichen Ramalina capitata: morphology, water relation and chlorophyll content in North and South-facing populations. Ann Bot 80:345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sabaté S, Sala A, Gracia CA (1999) Leaf traits and canopy organization. In: Rodà F, Retana J, Gracia CA, Bellot J (eds) Ecology of Mediterranean evergreen oak species. Ecological studies 137. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 121–133Google Scholar
  33. Sala A, Tenhunen JD (1994) Site-specific water relations and stomatal response of Quercus ilex in a Mediterranean watershed. Tree Physiol 14:601–617Google Scholar
  34. Saxe H, Cannell MGR, Johnsen Ø, Ryan MG, Vourlitis G (2001) Tree and forest functioning in response to global warming. New Phytol 149:369–400Google Scholar
  35. Schlichting CD (1986) The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 17:667–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Slatyer RO, Ferrar PJ (1977) Altitudinal variation in the photosynthetic characteristics of snow gum, Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. II. Effects of growth temperature under controlled conditions. Aust J Plant Physiol 4:289–299Google Scholar
  37. Slatyer RO, Ferrar PJ (1978) Photosynthetic characteristics of tree-line populations of the Australian snow gum, Eucalyptus pauciflora. Photosynthetica 12:137–144Google Scholar
  38. Sultan SE (2000) Phenotypic plasticity for plant development, function and life history. Trends Plant Sci 5:537–542CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Terradas J, Savé R (1992) The influence of summer and winter stress and water relationship on the distribution of Quercus ilex L. In: Romane F, Terradas J (eds) Quercus ilex L ecosystems: function, dynamics and management. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, pp 137–145Google Scholar
  40. Tisi F (1993) Clima di Arco con particolare riferimento al periodo 1981–1990. Stud Trent Sci Nat Acta Biol 69:9-25Google Scholar
  41. Tisi F, Bonomi C, Larcher W (2000) Indagini preliminari per una caratterizzazione fitoclimatica di alcune localitá topoclimatiche dell'Alto Garda. Stud Trent Sci Nat Acta Biol 75:129–145Google Scholar
  42. Valladares F, Wright SJ, Lasso E, Kitajima K, Pearcy W (2000a) Plastic phenotypic response to light of 16 congeneric shrubs from a Panamanian rainforest. Ecology 81:1925–1936Google Scholar
  43. Valladares F, Martinez-Ferri E, Balaguer L, Perez-Corona E, Manrique E (2000b) Low leaf-level response to light and nutrients in Mediterranean evergreen oaks: a conservative resource-use strategy? New Phytol 148:79–91Google Scholar
  44. Waitt DE, Levin DA (1998) Genetic and phenotypic correlations in plants: a botanical test of Cheverud's conjecture. Heredity 80:310–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Werner C, Correia O, Beyschlag W (1999) Two different strategies of Mediterranean macchia plants to avoid photoinhibitory damage by excessive radiation levels during summer drought. Acta Oecol 20:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wise RR, Sassenrath-Cole GF, Percy RG (2000) A comparison of leaf anatomy in field-grown Gossypium hirsutum and G. barbadense. Ann Bot 86:731–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wuehlisch G von, Krusche D, Muhs HJ (1995) Variation in temperature sum requirement for flushing of beech provenances. Silvae Genet 44:5-6Google Scholar
  48. Zangler AR, Bazzaz FA (1983) Plasticity and genotypic variation in photosynthetic behaviour of an early and a late successional species of Polygonum. Oecologia 57:270–273Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L.  Gratani
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Meneghini
    • 1
  • P. Pesoli
    • 1
  • M. F. Crescente
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity "La Sapienza"Roma

Personalised recommendations