Arid Dune Ecosystems pp 367-375

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 200) | Cite as

Temporal and Spatial Variability of Plant Water Status and Leaf Gas Exchange

  • M. Veste

Arid and semi-arid regions are characterised by low rainfall as well as high potential and actual evaporative demand. Consequentially, water is the major limiting factor for plant growth and productivity. Besides precipitation, hydrological soil properties are most important for soil water availability in the Nizzana sand dunes (Chap. 18, this volume). The vegetation pattern in these sand dunes reflects the spatial differences in soil water availability (Chap. 26, this volume). Detection of spatial heterogeneity requires a high number of soil sensors to evaluate water availability on the landscape level. Unfortunately, the use of tensiometers is limited mainly by excessively low soil water contents in the upper layers. As alternative, phanerophytes are good indicators of water resources in these heterogeneous ecosystems. Desert perennials develop extensive root systems and are able to exploit soil water from deeper horizons (Evenari et al. 1982; Adar et al. 1995; Batanouny 2001; Groom 2003, 2004). Especially shrubs and trees depend on sufficient water resources during the entire year. Water uptake by roots depends on gradients of water potential in the soil—plant—atmosphere continuum. The leaf water potential can be easily and rapidly determined by means of pressure chambers (Scholander et al. 1965) or by thermocouple psychrometers (e.g. von Willert et al. 1995). Commonly used parameters for plant water stress characterisation are the minimum water potential (ψmin) and the predawn water potential (ψpd). During the night, the water potential of a nontranspiring plant will equilibrate with the “wettest” water potential of the substrate around the roots, and ψsoil becomes ψpd of (Ritchie and Hinkley 1975; Hinckley et al. 1978; Richter 1997). Therefore, ψpd in many cases will be a good estimate of the soil's water availability (e.g. Verotec et al. 2001).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adar E, Gev I, Berliner P, Knol-Paz I (1995) Water recharge and percolation in sand dune terrain. In: Field Guidebook Int Conf Geomorphic Response of Mediterranean and Arid Areas to Climate Change (GERTEC), Field Trip B. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  2. Albert R, Pfundner G, Hertenhagen G, Kästenbauer T, Watzka M (2000) The physiotype approach to understanding halophytes and xerophytes. In: Breckle S-W, Schweizer B, Arndt U (eds) Ergebnisse weltweiter ökologischer Forschung. Günter Heimbach, Stuttgart, pp 69–87Google Scholar
  3. Amélio T, Archer P, Cohen M, Valancogne C, Daudet FA, Dayau S, Cruiziat P (1999) Significance and limits in the use of predawn water potential for tree irrigation. Plant Soil 207:155–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batanouny KH (2001) Plants in the deserts of the Middle East. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Breckle S-W (1990) Salinity tolerance of different halophyte types. In: Bassam N El (ed) Genetic aspects of plant mineral nutrition. Kluwer, Amsterdam, pp 167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess SSO, Pate JS, Adams MA, Dawson TE (2000) Seasonal water acquisition and redistribution in the Australian woody phreatophyte, Banksia prionotes. Ann Bot 85:215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caldwell MM, Dawson TE, Richards JH (1998) Hydraulic lift: consequences of water efflux from roots of plants. Oecologia 113:151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dawson T, Pate J (1996) Seasonal water uptake and movement in root systems of Australian phreatophytic plants with a dimorphic root morphology: a stable isotope investigations. Oecologica 107:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Donovan LA, Grisé DJ, West JB, Pappert RA, Alder NN, Richards JH (1999) Predawn disequilibrium between plant and soil water potentials in two cold-desert shrubs. Oecologia 120:209–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Donovan LA, Linton MJ, Richards JH (2001) Predawn plant water potential does not necessarily equilibrate with soil water potential under well-watered conditions. Oecologia 129:328–335Google Scholar
  11. Evenari M, Shanan L, Tadmor W (1982) The Negev–The challenge of a desert. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Groom PK (2003) Groundwater-dependency and water relations of four Myrtaceae shrub species during a prolonged summer drought. J R Soc Western Austr 86:31–40Google Scholar
  13. Groom PK (2004) Rooting depth and plant water relations explain species distribution patterns within a sandplain landscape. Funct Plant Biol 31:423–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hinckley TM, Lassoie JP, Running SW (1978) Temporal and spatial variations in the water status of forest trees. Foren Sci Monogr 20:1–72Google Scholar
  15. Kutilek M, Nielsen DR (1994) Soil hydrology. GeoEcology textbook. Catena, CremlingenGoogle Scholar
  16. Midgley G, Veste M, von Willert DJ, Davis GW, Steinberg M, Powrie LW (1997) Comparative field performance of three different gas exchange systems. Bothalia 27(1):83–89Google Scholar
  17. Pavlik BM (1980) Patterns of water potential and photosynthesis of desert sand dune plants, Eureka Valley, California. Oecologica 46:147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Richter H (1997) Water relations of plants in the field: some comments on the measurement of selected parameters. J Exp Bot 48:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ritchie GA, Hinckley TM (1975) The pressure chamber as an instrument for ecological research. Adv Ecol Res 9:165–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rummel B, Felix-Henningsen P (2004) Soil water balance of an arid linear sand dune. Int Agrophys 18:333–337Google Scholar
  21. Schmidthalter U (1997) The gradient between pre-dawn rhizoplane and bulk soil matric potentials, and its relation to the pre-dawn root and leaf water potentials of four species. Plant Cell Environ 20:953–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Scholander PF, Hammel HT, Bradstreet ED, Hemmingsen EA (1965) Sap pressure in vascular plants. Science 148(3668):339–346PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Slayter RO (1968) Plant-water-relationships, 2nd edn. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Turner NC (1988) Measurements of plant water status by pressure chamber technique. Irrig Sci 9:289–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vertovec M, Sakcali S, Ozturk M, Salleo S, Giacomich P, Feoli E, Nardini A (2001) Diagnosing plant water status as a tool for quantifying water stress on a regional basis in Mediterranean drylands. Ann Forest Sci 88:113–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Veste M, Breckle S-W (1995) Xerohalophytes in a sandy desert ecosystem. In: Khan MA, Ungar IA (eds) Biology of salt tolerant plants. University of Karachi, Pakistan, pp 161–165Google Scholar
  27. Veste M, Breckle S-W (1996a) Gaswechsel und Wasserpotential von Thymelaea hirsuta in verschiedenen Habitaten der Negev-Wüste. Verhandl Gesell Ökol 25:97–103Google Scholar
  28. Veste M, Breckle S-W (1996b) Root growth and water uptake in a desert sand dune ecosystem. Acta Phytogeogr Suec 81:59–64Google Scholar
  29. Veste M, Breckle S-W (2000) Ionen- und Wasserhaushalt von Anabasis articulata in Sanddünen der nördlichen Negev-Sinai-Wüste. In: Breckle S-W, Schweizer B, Arndt U (eds) Ergebnisse weltweiter Forschung. Günter Heimbach, Stuttgart, pp 481–485Google Scholar
  30. Veste M, Herppich W (1995) Diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in the atmospheric CO2 concentration and their influence on the photosynthesis of Populus tremula. Photosynthetica 31(3):371–378Google Scholar
  31. Veste M, Staudinger M (2005) Räumliche Variabilität der pflanzlichen Wasserversorgung an Trockenstandorten in Südmarokko. In: Veste M, Wissel C (Hrsg) Beiträge zur Vegetationsökologie der Trockengebiete und Desertifikation. UFZ Bericht 1/2005:55–64Google Scholar
  32. von Cammerer S, Farquhar GD (1981) Some relationship between the biochemistry of photosynthesis and the gas exchange of leaves. Planta 153:376387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. von Willert DJ, Mattysek R, Herppich WB (1995) Experimentelle Pflanzenökologie–Grundlagen und Anwendungen. Thieme, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  34. Yair A, Lavee H, Greitser N (1997) Spatial and temporal variability of water percolation and movement in a system of longitudinal dunes, western Negev, Israel. Hydrol Processes 11:4358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zencich SJ, Froend RH, Turner JV, Gailitis V (2002) Influence of groundwater depth on the seasonal sources of water accessed by Banksia tree species on a shallow, sandy coastal aquifer. Oecologia 131:8–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zohary M, Fahn A (1952) Ecological studies on East Mediterranean dune plants. Bull Res Council Israel Sect D1:38–53Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Veste

    There are no affiliations available

    Personalised recommendations