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Coye A. Balok and Rolston St. Hilaire

Plant development, leaf morphology, leaf cuticular wax content, and leaf water relations were determined for seven tree species exposed to consecutive cycles of drought. The objective of the experiment was to identify plant taxa suitable for landscapes prone to drought. On the day drought treatments began, plant development traits and leaf morphology varied among species. Leaf cuticular wax content was different among species and ranged from 0.053 mg·cm–2 in California white oak (Quercus lobata Née), to 0.200 mg·cm–2 in Texas red oak (Quercus buckleyi Buckl.). Was content in Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) and Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii Buckl.) averaged 0.105 and 0.11 mg·cm–2, respectively. At harvest, Texas red oak plants treated with drought had the highest root-to-shoot dry weight ratio which averaged 3.1. In contrast, plants of Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina Torr.) and California white oak that were frequently irrigated had the lowest root-to-shoot dry weight ratio. Drought did not affect stem elongation, total lamina area, leaf dry weight, and specific leaf weight. Abaxial leaf surfaces of Arizona ash were the most pubescent and averaged1836 trichomes/cm2. Drought-stressed plants of golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm.) had the most negative midday leaf water potential, which averaged –2.5 MPa. Plants of Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.) that were irrigated frequently had the least negative predawn leaf water potentials. Predawn leaf water potentials tended to be more negative for Arizona ash and golden rain tree than for the oak species. These results suggest that some species of oak might perform well in landscapes prone to drought.

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D.M. Lauderdale, C.H. Gilliam, D.J. Eakes, and G.J. Keever

Two tree species, Acer rubrum `October Glory' (October Glory red maple) and Quercus phellos (willow oak) were planted in Columbus, GA and Mobile, AL. Variables evaluated were location (park vs residential) and tree size (1.5 vs 3.0 inch caliper). Greater shoot elongation occurred with 1.5 inch red maples and willow oaks than with 3.0 inch caliper trees. First year growth differences were not related to photosynthesis, night respiration, leaf water potential, or foliar nitrogen levels. Little height or caliper change occurred with either species. Red maple shoot elongation was greater in Mobile than into Columbus. Growth was not affected by location within either city.

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James Q. Garner Jr. and Thammasak Thongket

Proline content, leaf water potential (LWP), and leaf diffusive resistance (LDR) were determined for eight sweetpotato genotypes underwater stress conditions. Changes in fatty acid compositions of leaf polar lipids were determined in two sweetpotato genotypes during declining soil moisture. Proline did not accumulate and LWP did not decrease until soil moisture dropped below 10%, but LDR increased as soil moisture decreased. Genotypic differences in proline accumulation and LWP were found. Changes in fatty acid compositions occurred more in glycolipids than in phospholipids. Fatty acid changes were more pronouned in genotype MS20-2 than in “Vardaman”

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Thomas G. Ranney, R.E. Bir, and W.A. Skroch

In order to evaluate and compare adaptability to dry sites, plant water relations and leaf gas exchange were compared in response to water stress among six birch species: monarch birch (Betula maximowicziana), river birch (B. nigra), paper birch (B. papyrifera), European birch (B. pendula), `Whitespire' Japanese birch (B. platyphylla var. japonica `Whitespire'), and gray birch (B. pendula). After 28 days without irrigation, Japanese birch maintained significantly higher stomatal conductance (gs) and net photosynthesis (Pn) than did any of the other species, despite having one of the lowest mid-day water potentials. Evaluation of tissue water relations, using pressure-volume methodology, showed no evidence of osmotic adjustment for any of these species in response to water stress. However, there was substantial variation among species in the water potential at the turgor loss point; varying from a high of -1.34 MPa for river birch to a low of -1.78 MPa for Japanese birch. Rates of Pn and gs under mild stress (mean predawn leaf water potential of -0.61 MPa) were negatively correlated with leaf osmotic potential at full turgor and the leaf water potential at the turgor loss point.

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M. Raeini-Sarjaz and N.N. Barthakur

Paraheliotropic leaf movements of bush bean were studied in relation to water availability, ambient temperature, leaf water potential, and stomatal conductance in a growth chamber. Unifoliate leaf angle from the horizontal (LA), stomatal conductance (G), and leaf water potential (WP) were measured at noon to minimize the effect of leaf movements due to circadian rhythm. Photoperiod and light intensity on the foliage were kept constant at 14 h, and 200 μmol·m–2·s–1, respectively, throughout the measurements. Negative correlations were obtained between water availability (WA) and LA (R = –0.93), and WP and LA (R = –0.85), whereas positive correlations were shown between WA and WP (R = 0.90), WA and G (R = 0.90), and WP and G (0.84) at 35C air temperature. Similar correlations were observed at 25C between WA and LA (R = –0.91), WP and LA (R = –0.79), WA and WP (R = 0.91), WA and G (R = 0.68), and WP and G (R = 0.76). Air temperature significantly (P ≤ 0.01) affected leaf movements.

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M. Rieger

Root hydraulic conductivity (Lp) and osmotic potential (π) were measured in young, drought-stressed and non-stressed peach (Prunus persica), Olive (Olea europea), Citrumelo (Citrus paradisi x Poncirus trifoliata) and Pistachio (Pistachia integerrima) plants. Drought stress reduced Lp 2.5 to 4.2-fold, depending on species, but π was reduced only in expanded citrumelo leaves and unexpanded olive leaves by 0.34 and 1.4 MPa, respectively. A simulation model of plant water uptake and leaf water relations was constructed to quantify the offsetting effects of reduced Lp and osmotic adjustment (OA) on turgor maintenance. For olive data, a 2.5-fold reduction of Lp caused a linear decrease in turgor pressure difference between stressed and non-stressed plants, such that the effect of OA was totally offset at a leaf water potential (stressed) of ≈ -3.0 MPa. For citrumelo, because the degree of OA was lower, the water potential at which the effects of OA and reduced Lp were offsetting with respect to turgor maintenance was ≈ -0.6 MPa. The analysis suggests that some level of stomatal closure would be necessary to extend the water potential range over which stressed plants maintain higher turgor than non-stressed plants for citrumelo. Conversely, no degree of stomatal closure would be required of stressed olive plants to maintain higher turgor than non-stressed counterparts over a physiologically meaningful range of leaf water potential.

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Thomas Tworkoski

Peach [(Prunus persica (L.) Batsch., `Rutgers Redleaf'] trees were grown for two seasons in a greenhouse with three pruning treatments (none, shoot tips removed, and half the shoots removed) and three grass treatments (no grass competition; perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne L., `Linn'; and tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea Schreb, `Kentucky 31'). Competing grass reduced shoot growth, leaf area, and weight of fine roots in shallow soil, but did not affect the growth response to pruning. Regrowth from pruned trees was such that the shoot: root ratio was restored to that of unpruned trees. Leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, and photosynthesis had decreased markedly by 48 hours after irrigation ceased in trees without competition (larger trees) and to a similar level by 96 hours in trees with competition (smaller trees). Apparently, the reduced leaf area of peach trees grown with grass competition delayed water stress. Leaf abscisic acid levels were not directly affected by grass competition but increased as leaf water potential decreased. Grass competition modified morphology and reduced tree size, but did not affect shoot growth following pruning.

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P.R. Knight, J.R. Harris, J.K. Fanelli, and M.P. Kelting

Two experiments were conducted on Acer rubrum L. to determine the influence of root severance on sap flow, stomatal conductance, leaf water potential (ψ), and stem xylem embolism. Experiment 1 utilized 3-year-old trees, and experiment 2 utilized 2-year-old trees. Sixteenmm sap flow gauges were installed on both groups. Trees for experiment 1 were harvested on 31 May 1996 with a root ball diameter of 30.5 cm. Sap flow was reduced within one day after plants were harvested and was still lower 1 week after harvest. On 7 June 1996, harvested trees had lower stomatal conductance measurements, compared to not-harvested trees, but ψ were similar. A second experiment was initiated on 20 Aug. 1996, using the same protocol as in experiment 1. Sap flow was reduced within 2 h after harvest for harvested trees compared to not-harvested trees. Leaf stomatal conductances were reduced within 4 h of harvest. Leaf water potentials were not influenced on the day that the trees were harvested. Embolism levels were increased by harvest within 24 h. These results indicate that transplant stress begins shortly after harvest and not at the actual time of transplant.

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Michael R. Sweatt and Jayne M. Zajicek

Castilleja indivisa grows hemiparasitically attached to the roots of various nearby plants. Studies were done using several host plants to determine the effects of the parasitic relationship on the growth of C. indivisa and the host plants. Transpiration rates, and leaf water potentials of C. indivisa, and various hosts, were also measured at various soil moisture levels. Carbon transfer between C. indivisa and each host was examined using a 14CO2 tracing technique.

The various hosts used in this experiment enhanced the growth of C. indivisa by 200-700% compared to non-parasitic controls. Transpiration rates of non-parasitic controls remained relatively low at all soil moisture levels while transpiration rates of parasitic C. indivisa increased rapidly as soil moisture increased, and generally exceeded that of its host at low to medium soil moisture levels. Leaf water potentials of non-parasitic controls were generally more negative than other treatments. Carbon exchange between C. indivisa and its hosts was insignificant and appears not to be a major nutritional factor.

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Jennifer Marohnic, Robert Geneve, and Jack W. Buxton

Capillary mats were used to vary the water content in oasis blocks during mist propagation of chrysanthemum cuttings. Mats placed on the surface of the propagation bench extended over the edge of the bench and downward a distance of either 0 or 20 cm. Oasis blocks with chrysanthemum cuttings `Boaloi' and `Salmon Charm' were placed on mats under intermittent mist (10 seconds every 5 minutes) between 5 am and 8 pm. Relative water content, mL of water/gram oasis, and leaf water potential were measured at noon every 5 days. After 26 days number of roots per cutting was evaluated. Water content in the oasis block was reduced by 49% (450 to 219 mL/g dry weight of oasis) by hanging the capillary mat 20 cm over the edge of the bench compared to 0 cm treatment. Cuttings showed an increase in leaf relative water content from 49% and 51% at day 1 to 65% and 71% by day 11 for `Boaloi' and `Salmon Charm', respectively. Following initial root formation, leaf relative water content increased to 85%. Over the course of the experiment `Boaloi' and `Salmon Charm' showed an average reduction in leaf water potential of 0.14 and 0.08 MPA, respectively. `Boaloi' showed overall higher root numbers than `Salmon Charm'; however, no difference in rooting between mat treatments was observed.