Water Use Strategies of Plants Under Drought Conditions

  • Eunice L. V. A. BacelarEmail author
  • José M. Moutinho-Pereira
  • Berta M. C. Gonçalves
  • Cátia V. Q. Brito
  • José Gomes-Laranjo
  • Helena M. F. Ferreira
  • Carlos M. Correia


The growing concerns about water scarcity have focused more attention on water management in agriculture and promotion of water conservation through improved water use efficiency (WUE). Depending on the main purpose of the study, WUE can be estimated at multiple scales, from leaf to whole plant, crop, yield, and ecosystem levels. Drought resistance and WUE are not synonymous and their association is often misunderstood. Effectively, two water use strategies may be employed by woody plants under drought conditions. The prodigal water use behavior is beneficial in conditions where water supply is interrupted for short periods only. The conservative water use is favorable in conditions where a long dry period prevails and is associated with high capacity for drought resistance and slow growth rates. In this chapter, we also examine how human manipulation such as breeding and agricultural management techniques will offer new opportunities to improve plant water use under drought conditions.


Stomatal Conductance Drought Tolerance Drought Resistance Late Embryogenesis Abundant Glycine Betaine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eunice L. V. A. Bacelar
    • 1
    Email author
  • José M. Moutinho-Pereira
    • 1
  • Berta M. C. Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Cátia V. Q. Brito
    • 1
  • José Gomes-Laranjo
    • 1
  • Helena M. F. Ferreira
    • 1
  • Carlos M. Correia
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB)/Department of Biology and EnvironmentUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal

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