Leaf plasticity and stomatal regulation determines the ability of Arundo donax plantlets to cope with water stress

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of the giant reed (Arundo donax L.) to drought stress at early stages, as well as to determine the effects of limited soil water availability on plant growth, gas exchange, and water-use efficiency. Plantlets of a commercial clone were grown in a greenhouse under two water treatments: at 100% of field capacity and progressive drought for 66 days (until 20% of field capacity). Soil water content, leaf elongation rate, plant water consumption, and gas-exchange parameters were measured throughout the experiment. Total plant biomass, leaf water, and osmotic potential were determined at the end of the experiment. Plant growth and leaf gas-exchange parameters were significantly affected by soil water availability, but only when it was below 40% of field capacity. At early stages, Arundo donax showed drought stress acclimation due to leaf plasticity, stomatal regulation, and osmotic adjustment.

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Abbreviations

C c :

chloroplastic CO2 concentration

Chl:

chlorophyll

C i :

substomatal CO2 concentration

DAT:

days after transplantation

FC:

field capacity percentage

g s :

stomatal conductance

g m :

mesophyll conductance

H2Oc :

total water consumption

J max :

the potential light- saturated electron transport rate

J flu :

the electron transport rate

P N :

net photosynthetic rate

R D :

respiration rate in the light

R n :

the respiratory rate in the absence of light

V cmax :

the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate

WD:

water-stressed

WUE:

water-use efficiency

WW:

well-watered.

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Correspondence to A. Romero-Munar.

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Acknowledgements: This work was financed by the OPTIMA-FP7. A. Romero-Munar was funded by a fellowship of the Government of Balearic Islands and European Social Fund. The authors would like to thank Mr. Miquel Truyols and collaborators of the UIB Experimental Field (UIB Grant 15/2015) for their support to our experiments.

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Romero-Munar, A., Baraza, E., Cifre, J. et al. Leaf plasticity and stomatal regulation determines the ability of Arundo donax plantlets to cope with water stress. Photosynthetica 56, 698–706 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11099-017-0719-y

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Additional key words

  • early stage
  • osmotic potential
  • stomatal conductance
  • water deficit