Growth of provenances of Cryptocarya alba during water stress and after re–watering in the nursery
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Intensification of drought in Mediterranean–type climates has limited seedling establishment. The knowledge of the ecology of selected species and its intraspecific variation to water stress at the seedling stage should be considered in order to overcome limitations. We investigated variations in growth, survival, and leaf–level physiology in four provenances of the endemic Cryptocarya alba (Mol.) during water stress and after re–watering. Seedlings were cultured in the nursery during 23 months and then subjected to two watering treatments based on soil water content (well–watered and water restriction, 0.38 and 0.17 cm3 cm–3, respectively) for 45 days. At the end of the watering treatments, seedling growth, above– and belowground biomass, survival, and leaf gas exchange were measured. Right after the watering treatments, the surviving seedlings were submitted to a recovery period of 21 days, in which all seedlings were re–watered at 0.38 cm3 cm–3 of soil water content and measured for leaf gas exchange. Provenances differed in growth and biomass allocation. Unlike growth and biomass, interaction between provenance and watering treatments was found for photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, and water use efficiency of northern provenances, exhibiting the highest performance under water restriction. However, most variations observed occurred before the re–watering period and only a few occurred after this period. The four provenances under study exhibited similar photosynthesis and stomatal conductance after re–watering. Our study demonstrated phenotypic variation of C. alba and the capability of the species to withstand and recover from water stress.
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Quote ItemSci. Agric. v.78, Suppl., e20200292, 2021
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