Reactions of three European oak species (Q. robur, Q. petraea and Q. ilex) to repetitive summer drought in sandy soil

  • Young trees of deciduous Quercus robur and Q. petraea and evergreen Q. ilex were grown together in a competition lysimeter experiment to assess i) – whether the observed growth differences between evergreen Q. ilex and the deciduous Q. robur and Q. petraea on sandy soil in the field and ii) – whether the different natural distribution of Q. robur and Q. petraea could be attributed to physiological differences between the species under experimental drought stress (DS). Half of the plants were subjected to long-term DS in two consecutive years and monitored for physiological and growth parameters. In the first year, water withholding for more than three months did not lead to significant drought stress, probably because of a sufficient residual water volume in the lysimeter for the relatively small plants. However, in the second year, 2018, which was warmer, the bigger plants now competed for the residual water and clear drought stress symptoms developed for more than two months in all trees in the DS lysimeter basin. Growth was only moderately (and mostly not significantly) affected by the DS in the second year, except for a smaller total leaf area in DS Q. ilex as compared to DS Q. robur and Q. petraea and smaller root collar diameter in DS Q. ilex compared to DS Q. robur. Under DS, the deciduous species revealed significant decreases in ΔVIP, indicating a negative effect on electron transport through PS I. Pn, PIabs and water relations parameters (ΨPD and LWC) all decreased to various extents under DS in all three species, leading to clear separation of the deciduous from the evergreen species by PCA. However, PCA did not separate the two deciduous species from each other. It is concluded that longer root growth in the two deciduous species as compared to Q. ilex ameliorates DS effects in Q. robur and Q. petraea and may be the key to understand the better performance of deciduous oaks on sandy soil in the field.
Author:Elena Früchtenicht, Johanna Bock, Viktoria Feucht, Wolfgang Brüggemann
Parent Title (English):Trees, forests and people
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/08
Date of first Publication:2021/05/08
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/03/03
Tag:Chlorophyll fluorescence; Drought reaction; Oaks; Photosynthesis; Summer drought
Issue:art. 100093
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0