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Water use dynamics of dryland canola (Brassica napus L.) grown on contrasting soils under elevated CO2

  • Shihab UddinEmail author
  • Shahnaj Parvin
  • Markus Löw
  • Glenn J Fitzgerald
  • Sabine Tausz-Posch
  • Roger Armstrong
  • Michael Tausz
Regular Article
  • 73 Downloads

Abstract

Background and aims

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) stimulates the leaf-level (intrinsic) water use efficiency (iWUE), which may mitigate the adverse effects of drought by lowering water use in plants. This study investigated the interactive effect of [CO2] and soil type on growth, yield and water use of canola (Brassica napus L.) in a dryland environment.

Methods

Two canola cultivars (vigorous hybrid cv. ‘Hyola 50’ and non-hybrid cv. ‘Thumper’) were grown in large intact soil cores containing either a sandy Calcarosol or clay Vertosol under current ambient (a[CO2]) and future elevated [CO2] (e[CO2]), ∼550 μmol mol−1). Net assimilation rates (Anet), stomatal conductance (gs) and leaf area were measured throughout the growing season. Seed yield and yield components were recorded at final harvest. Water use was monitored by lysimeter balances.

Results

Elevated [CO2]-stimulation of iWUE was greater than the effect on leaf area, therefore, water use was lower under e[CO2] than a[CO2], but this was further modified by soil type and cultivar. The dynamics of water use throughout the growing season were different between the studied cultivars and in line with their leaf development. The effect of e[CO2] on seed yield was dependent on cultivar; the non-hybrid cultivar benefitted more from increased [CO2]. Although textural differences between soil types influenced the water use under e[CO2], this did not affect the ‘CO2 fertilisation effect’ on the studied canola cultivars.

Conclusion

Elevated [CO2]-induced water savings observed in the present study is a potential mechanism of ameliorating drought effects in high CO2 environment. Better understanding of genotypic variability in response to water use dynamics with traits affecting assimilate supply and use can help breeders to improve crop germplasm for future climates.

Keywords

Climate change Dryland agriculture FACE CO2 fertilisation effect Water use Intrinsic water use efficiency 

Abbreviations

[CO2]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

e[CO2]

Elevated [CO2]

a[CO2]

Ambient [CO2]

FACE

Free Air CO2 Enrichment

AGFACE

Australian Grains FACE

SoilFACE

Soil FACE

MEA

Measurement Engineering Australia

Anet

Net CO2 assimilation rate

gs

Stomatal conductance

iWUE

Intrinsic water use efficiency

DAS

Days after sowing

RMSE

Root means squared error

TSY

Total seed yield in g plant−1

SSN

Sound seed number siliqua−1

SSW

Mean individual sound seed weight

SNP

Siliqua number plant−1

P

Precipitation

I

Irrigation

D

Deep drainage from the root zone

CR

Capillary rise to the root zone

R

Runoff

SWD

Soil water depletion

Min temp

Minimum temperature

Max temp

Maximum temperature

ETo

Reference evapotranspiration

EC

Electrical conductivity

ESP

Exchangeable sodium percentage

PBI

Phosphorus buffering index

RH

Relative humidity

VPD

Vapour pressure deficit

GSR

Global solar radiation

Notes

Acknowledgements

The Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment (AGFACE) programme was jointly run by the University of Melbourne and Agriculture Victoria Research (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) with substantial funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the AGFACE field team lead by Russel Argall, Mel Munn and Roger Perris (all Agriculture Victoria) for collecting soil water data and helping to manage the experiment, Samuel Henty and Maryse Bourgault (University of Melbourne) for field support and Mahabubur Mollah for operating the CO2 enrichment technology. SU was supported by a Melbourne International Research Scholarship.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_3987_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 44 kb)

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesWagga Wagga Agricultural InstituteWagga WaggaAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural SciencesThe University of MelbourneCreswickAustralia
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyBangladesh Agricultural UniversityMymensinghBangladesh
  4. 4.School of Ecosystem and Forest SciencesThe University of MelbourneCreswickAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and ResourcesHorshamAustralia
  6. 6.School of BiosciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  7. 7.Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences, Centre for AgriBioscienceLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  8. 8.Department of Agriculture, Science and Environment, School of Health and Applied SciencesCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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