Below-ground hydraulic constraints during drought-induced decline in Scots pine
Key message Below-crown hydraulic resistance, a proxy for below-ground hydraulic resistance, increased during drought in Scots pine, but larger increases were not associated to drought-induced defoliation. Accounting for variable below-ground hydraulic conductance in response to drought may be needed for accurate predictions of forest water fluxes and drought responses in xeric forests. Context Hydraulic deterioration is an important trigger of drought-induced tree mortality. However, the role of below-ground hydraulic constraints remains largely unknown. Aims We investigated the association between drought-induced defoliation and seasonal dynamics of below-crown hydraulic resistance (a proxy for below-ground hydraulic resistance), associated to variations in water supply and demand in a field population of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Methods Below-crown hydraulic resistance (rbc) of defoliated and non-defoliated pines was obtained from the relationship between maximum leaf-specific sap flow rates and maximum stem pressure difference estimated from xylem radius variations. The percent contribution of rbc to whole-tree hydraulic resistance (%rbc) was calculated by comparing stem water potential variations with the water potential difference between the leaves and the soil. Results rbc and %rbc increased with drought in both defoliated and non-defoliated pines. However, non-defoliated trees showed larger increases in rbc between spring and summer. The difference between defoliation classes is unexplained by differences in root embolism, and it is possibly related to seasonal changes in other properties of the roots and the soil-root interface. Conclusion Our results highlight the importance of increasing below-ground hydraulic constraints during summer drought but do not clearly link drought-induced defoliation with severe below-ground hydraulic impairment in Scots pine.
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Annals of Forest Science
Poyatos, Rafael, David Aguadé, and Jordi Martínez-Vilalta. 2018. "Below-Ground Hydraulic Constraints During Drought-Induced Decline In Scots Pine". Annals Of Forest Science 75 (4). Springer Nature. doi:10.1007/s13595-018-0778-7.
Grant agreement number
MICINN/Programa Nacional de Formación de Recursos Humanos/CGL2010-16373/ES/ /
MICNN/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/CGL2013-46808-R/ES/UNA APROXIMACION A LA DINAMICA Y FUNCIONAMIENTO DE LOS BOSQUES BASADA EN LOS ATRIBUTOS FUNCIONALES: IMPLICACIONES PARA LOS SERVICIOS ECOSISTEMICOS/
MICINN/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/CGL2014-55883-JIN/ES/UNA BASE DE DATOS GLOBAL DE FLUJO DE SAVIA EN PLANTAS PARA DESCIFRAR LOS FACTORES ECOLOGICOS DE LA REGULACION DE LA TRANSPIRACION EN PLANTAS LEÑOSAS/SAPFLUXNET
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