Responses of Amygdalus pedunculata Pall. in the sandy and loamy soils to water stress

Abstract

Amygdalus pedunculata Pall. is a major species that is widely planted in afforested soils with different textures in the transitional zone between Mu Us Desert and Loess Plateau, China. However, the responses of A. pedunculata to increasing intensity of water stress in different textural soils are not clear. Here, we conducted a soil column experiment to evaluate the effects of different textures (sandy and loamy) on water consumption, water use efficiency (WUE), biomass accumulation and ecological adaptability of A. pedunculata under increasing water stress, i.e., 90% (±5%) FC (field capacity), 75% (±5%) FC, 60% (±5%) FC, 45% (±5%) FC and 30% (±5%) FC in 2018. A. pedunculata grown in the sandy soil with the lowest (30% FC) and highest (90% FC) water contents had respectively 21.3%–37.0% and 4.4%–20.4% less transpiration than those with other water treatments (45%–75% FC). In contrast, A. pedunculata transpiration in the loamy soil decreased with decreasing water content. The magnitude of decrease in transpiration increased with increasing level of water deficit (45% and 30% FC). Mean daily and cumulative transpirations of the plant were significantly lower in the sandy soil than in the loamy soil under good water condition (90% FC), but the reverse was noted under water deficit treatments (45% and 30% FC). Plant height, stem diameter and total biomass initially increased with decreasing water content from 90% to 75% FC and then declined under severe water deficit conditions (45% and 30% FC) in the sandy soil. However, these plant parameters decreased with decreasing water content in the loamy soil. WUE in the sandy soil was 7.8%–12.3% higher than that in the loamy soil, which initially increased with decreasing water content from 90% to 75% FC and then declined under water deficit conditions (45% and 30% FC). The study showed that plant transpiration, biomass production and WUE responded differentially to increasing intensity of water stress in the sandy and loamy soils. The contrasting responses of A. pedunculata to water stress in different textural soils can guide future revegetation programs in the northern region of Chinese Loess Plateau by considering plant adaptability to varying soil and water conditions.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41601221), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFC0501605), the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (2019QZKK0306), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA23070202), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2019052), the Bingwei Outstanding Young Talent Project from the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research (2017RC203), and the Scientific Research Program from State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Ministry of Water Resources (A314021402-1602, A314021402-2010). We thank Dr. WU Yuanzhi and Mr. LI Ronglei for their help during the experiment.

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Correspondence to Laiming Huang.

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Pei, Y., Huang, L., Shao, M. et al. Responses of Amygdalus pedunculata Pall. in the sandy and loamy soils to water stress. J. Arid Land 12, 791–805 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-020-0016-7

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Keywords

  • soil texture
  • water consumption
  • biomass production
  • water use efficiency
  • Loess Plateau