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Growth Response and Drought Susceptibility of Red Spruce Seedlings Exposed to Simulated Acidic Rain and Ozone

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Abstract:

One-year-old seedlings of red spruce were exposed to O3 (≤0.025 or 0.10 l 1-1, 4 h d-1, 3 d wk-1) in combination with simulated rain (pH 5.6 or 3.0, 1 h d-1, 2 d wk-1, 0.75 cm h-1) for 10 weeks. After pollutant treatments, seedlings were subjected to two successive drought cycles. Whole-plant fresh weight increment (FWT) and dry weight were reduced after O3 exposure, whereas FWT and shoot height growth were increased after simulated rain exposure at pH 3.0 compared to pH 5.6. No interaction between O3 and rain treatments was observed for any growth variable measured. Foliar concentrations of K and S were greater in seedlings exposed to simulated rain at pH 3.0 compared with those at pH 5.6. Root hydraulic conductivity was highest in seedlings exposed to 0.10 l 1-1 O3 + pH 3.0 rain solution compared with all other treatments after the first drought cycle. There were no significant O3 effects on net photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration or water-use efficiency prior to the drought cycles. However, during the second drought cycle, Pn was more sensitive to branch water potential in seedlings exposed to 0.10 l 1-1 O3 + pH 3.0 solution compared with seedlings exposed to low O3 + pH 5.6 solution. For. Sci. 36(2):265-275.

Keywords: Air pollution; Picea rubens; gas exchange; moisture stress; root hydraulic conductivity

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Publication date: June 1, 1990

More about this publication?
  • 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.
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