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Photosynthesis and Transpiration of Loblolly Pine Seedlings as Influenced by Moisture-Stress Conditioning

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This study was conducted to investigate the potential for modifying drought tolerance of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Photosynthesis, transpiration rate, and water-use efficiency of loblolly pine seedlings were evaluated following exposure to sublethal water stress. One-year-old loblolly pine seedlings were exposed to 8 weeks of moisture-stress conditioning (MSC); seedlings were watered only when pre-dawn needle water potentials fell below - 1.4 MPa. A control group of seedlings was kept well watered. Seedlings exposed to MSC continued photosynthesis to much lower needle water potentials than controls. This response is at least partially attributed to the significant 0.45 MPa decrease in needle osmotic potential found in MSC seedlings. Although it is not clear whether this adjustment was an active osmotic adjustment, it did result in MSC seedlings being able to maintain turgor to lower needle water potentials. Transpiration rate was decreased 30 percent and water-use efficiency increased 67 percent as a result of MSC. These responses all indicate significant improvements in loblolly pine drought tolerance as a result of moisture-stress conditioning. Forest Sci. 31:742-749.
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Keywords: Pinus taeda; drought tolerance; osmotic adjustment; water-use efficiency

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Publication date: 1985-09-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
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