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Jordi Marsal, Joan Girona, and Mercè Mata

The influence of deficit irrigation on predawn leaf water potential (Ψpd) and leaf gas-exchange parameters was analyzed in almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] and compared to hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.). Both species were planted in adjacent plots in which four irrigation treatments were applied: T-100%, T-130%, and T-70%, which were irrigated at full crop evapotranspiration (ETc), 1.3 × ETc, and 0.7 × ETc, respectively, and a regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) treatment, which consisted of full irrigation for the full season, except from middle June to late August when 0.2 × ETc was applied. Under nonstressful conditions, hazelnut had a lower net CO2 assimilation rate (A) (12.2 μmol·m-2·s-1) than almond (15.5 μmol·m-2·s-1). Reductions in net CO2 assimilation rate (A) induced by decreases in Ψpd were higher in hazelnut than in almond. Gas-exchange activity from early morning to midday decreased in hazelnut for all irrigation treatments, but in almond increased in the well-watered treatments and decreased slightly or remained constant in the RDI. Hazelnut had a higher A sensitivity to variations in stomatal conductance (gs) than almond, especially at low gs values. The Ψpd values in almond and hazelnut of the T-100% and T-130% treatments were affected by decreasing values in midsummer, but in hazelnut Ψpd was probably also affected by sink kernel filling. These facts indicate that hazelnut RDI management could be more problematic than in almond.

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Bingru Huang, Jack Fry, and Bin Wang

Understanding factors associated with drought resistance and recovery from drought stress in tall fescue (Festuca arundinaces Schreb.) is important for developing resistant cultivars and effective management strategies. Our objective was to investigate water relations, photosynthetic efficiency, and canopy characteristics of tall fescue cultivars (forage-type `Kentucky-31', turf-type `Mustang', and dwarf-type `MIC18') in responses to drought stress and subsequent recovery in the field and greenhouse. During drought stress under field conditions, `MIC18' had lower turf quality, more severe leaf wilting, and higher canopy temperature than `Mustang' and `Kentucky-31', indicating that `MIC18' was more drought-sensitive. The greenhouse study comparing `K-31' and `MIC18' showed that leaf water status, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and lead area index of both cultivars declined as soil dried. Reductions in relative water content, leaf water potential, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and leaf area index were more severe and occurred sooner during dry down for `MIC18' than for `Kentucky-31'. After rewatering following 14 days of stress, leaf water deficit and turf growth recovered, to a greater degree for `Kentucky-31' than for `MIC18'. However, soil drying for 21 days caused long-term negative effects on leaf photosynthetic efficiency and canopy characteristics for both cultivars.

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R. Savé, J. Peñuelas, I. Filella, and C. Olivella

One-year-old gerbera plants subjected to 1 night at 5C had reduced leaf water losses and chlorophyll content and increased root hydraulic resistance, but stomatal conductance and leaf water potential did not change. After 3 nights, leaf water potential had decreased and leaf reflectance in the visible and the near-infrared had increased. Similarly, abscisic acid (ABA) in leaves had increased and cytokinins (CK) in leaves and roots had decreased, but ABA levels in roots did not change. After 4 days at 20C, root hydraulic resistance, reflectance and leaf water loss returned to their initial values, but leaf water potential and chlorophyll content remained lower. Leaf ABA levels reached values lower than the initial, while root ABA and leaf CK levels retained the initial values. These data suggest that in the gerbera plants studied, 3 nights at 5C produced a reversible strain but otherwise plants remained uninjured, so this gerbera variety could be cultured with low energetic inputs under Mediterranean conditions. The results may indicate that ABA and CK were acting as synergistic signals of the chilling stress. Spectral reflectance signals seemed to be useful as plant chilling injury indicators at ground level.

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C.P. Sharma and Sandhya Singh

When grown in refined sand with one-twentieth normal K supply, cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. cv. Pusi) had lower dry matter and tissue concentration of K than the controls and developed visible symptoms characteristic of K deficiency. In K-deficient plants, the specific leaf weight, diffusive resistance, and proline concentration in leaves were significantly higher and relative water content (RWC), leaf water otential (ψ), stomatal aperture, stomatal density, and transpiration rate were significantly lower than in control plants. When K-deficient plants were supplied additional Na to the extent K was deficient, Na concentration in the plants increased and the plants recovered from the K deficiency effect on free proline concentration, RWC, leaf water potential, stomatal aperture, stomatal density, specific leaf weight, diffusive resistance, and transpiration.

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Mathieu Ngouajio, Guangyao Wang, and Ronald G. Goldy

water potential was measured using the third fully expanded leaf. Five leaves were collected in each plot before sunrise ( Rudich et al., 1981 ), enclosed in zip-lock bags, and put in an insulated box. Leaf water potential was measured after leaf

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Pedro Perdomo, James A. Murphy, and Gerald A. Berkowitz

Understanding the factors influencing the performance of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars under summer stress is necessary for developing criteria for identifying resistant germplasm. The objectives of this study were to evaluate two Kentucky bluegrass cultivars for leaf water (ψl) and osmotic potential (ψπ), stomatal resistance (Rs), leaf: air temperature differential (ΔT) and determine the relationship of these parameters to drought and heat tolerance. Stress-resistant (`Midnight') and susceptible (`Nugget') cultivars were evaluated in a field study during 1993 and 1994 under moisture-limiting conditions. Leaf water potential for `Nugget' was higher than for `Midnight' in 1993 and similar in 1994. `Midnight' had lower ψπ than `Nugget' during the evaluation period in 1994. `Midnight' maintained more open stomata (lower Rs) and lower ΔT than `Nugget' at the end of the dry down period when `Nugget' was showing visual signs of stress. `Midnight' and `Nugget' had similar root weight at the 0- to 45-cm depth zone in 1994. Lower basal osmotic potential (i.e., higher solute concentration) may be the physiological mechanism allowing larger stomatal aperture in `Midnight'. Greater transpirational cooling in `Midnight' relative to `Nugget' was correlated with higher turf quality for `Midnight'.

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J. Girona, M. Mata, D.A. Goldhamer, R.S. Johnson, and T.M. DeJong

Seasonal patterns of soil water content and diurnal leaf water potential (LWP), stomatal conductance(gs), and net CO2 assimilation (A) were determined in a high-density peach [Prunus persica(L) Batsch cv. Cal Red] subjected to regulated deficit irrigation scheduling. The regulated deficit irrigation treatment caused clear differences in soil water content and predawn LWP relative to control irrigation treatments. Treatment differences in midday LWP, gs, and A were also significant, but not as distinct as differences in predawn LWP. Leaves on trees subject of the deficit irrigation treatment were photosynthetically more water-use-efficient during the latter part of the stress period than were the nonstressed trees. Midday LWP and gs, on trees that received the regulated deficit irrigation treatment did not recover to control treatment values until more than 3 weeks after full irrigation was resumed at the beginning of state III of fruit growth, because of water infiltration problems in the dry soil caused by the deficit irrigation. The regulated deficit irrigation treatment caused only a 8% reduction in trunk growth relative to the control, but resulted in a 40% savings in irrigation requirements.

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Peter R. Hicklenton, Julia Y. Reekie, Robert J. Gordon, and David C. Percival

Seasonal patterns of CO2 assimilation (ACO2), leaf water potential (ψ1) and stomatal conductance (g1) were studied in three clones (`Augusta', `Brunswick', and `Chignecto') of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) over two growing seasons. Plants were managed in a 2-year cycle of fruiting (year 1) and burn-prune (year 2). In the fruiting year, ACO2 was lowest in mid-June and early September. Rates peaked between 10 and 31 July and declined after fruit removal in late August. Compared with the fruiting year, ACO2 in the prune year was between 50% and 130% higher in the early season, and between 80% and 300% higher in mid-September. In both years, however, mid-season maximum ACO2 for each clone was between 9 and 10 μmol·m–2·s–1CO2. Assimilation of CO2 increased with increasing photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) to between 500 and 600 μmol·s–1·m–2 in `Augusta' and `Brunswick', and to between 700 and 800 μmol·s–1·m–2 in `Chignecto'. Midday ψ1 was generally lower in the prune year than in the fruiting year, reflecting year-to-year differences in soil water content. Stomatal conductance (g1), however, was generally higher in the prune year than in the fruiting year over similar vapor pressure deficit (VPD) ranges, especially in June and September when prune year g1 was often twice that observed in the fruiting year. In the fruiting year, g1 declined through the day in response to increasing VPD in June, but was quite constant in mid-season. It tended to be higher in `Augusta' than in the other two clones. Stomatal closure imposes limitations on ACO2 in lowbush blueberries, but not all seasonal change in C-assimilative capacity can be explained by changes in g1.

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Kelly J. Prevete, R. Thomas Fernandez, and William B. Miller

Boltonia asteroides L. `Snowbank' (Snowbank boltonia), Eupatorium rugosum L. (eastern white snakeroot), and Rudbeckia triloba L. (three-lobed coneflower) were subjected to drought for 2, 4, and 6 days during the fall and spring. Leaf gas exchange, leaf water potential, growth, and carbohydrate partitioning were measured during drought and throughout the following growing season. Leaf gas exchange of B. asteroides was not affected by drought treatment in the fall, not until day 6 of spring drought, and there were no long-term effects on growth. Transpiration and stomatal conductance of R. triloba decreased when substrate moisture decreased to 21% after drought treatment during both seasons. Assimilation of drought-treated R. triloba decreased when substrate moisture content decreased to 12% during spring but was not affected by drought in the fall. There was a decrease in the root-to-shoot ratio of R. triloba that had been treated for 4 days, which was attributed to an increase in the shoot dry weight (DW) of treated plants. Reductions in spring growth of E. rugosum were observed only after fall drought of 6 days, and there were no differences in final DWs of plants subjected to any of the drought durations. Spring drought had no effect on growth index or DW of any of the perennials. Boltonia asteroides and R. triloba had increases in low-molecular-weight sugars on day 4 of drought, but E. rugosum did not have an increase in sugars of low molecular weight until day 6 of drought. Differences in drought response of B. asteroides, E. rugosum, and R. triloba were attributed to differences in water use rates.

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A.E. Dudeck, C.H. Peacock, and J.C. Wildmon

Salt tolerance in grasses is needed due to increased restrictions on limited fresh water resources and to saltwater intrusion into groundwater. St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] is used widely as a lawngrass in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. We describe the response of four St. Augustinegrass cultivars to solution cultures differentially salinized with synthetic seawater. A sea salt mixture was added to half-strength Hoagland's No. 2 nutrient solution to provide six salinity treatments ranging from 1.1 to 41.5 dS·m-1. Adjustments in leaf water potential, leaf osmotic potential, and leaf turgor potential were measured as salt levels were increased gradually at 2-day intervals over 10 days. Salinity effects on growth of top, crown, and root of each cultivar were measured over 3 months. Turfgrasses differed in their response, but were consistent in adjustment in leaf water potential and in leaf turgor potential as salinity increased. Leaf water potential, leaf osmotic potential, and leaf turgor potential decreased linearly with increased salinity, but a positive turgor of 0.1 MPa was maintained at a salt concentration equal to that of seawater. `Seville', the most salt-tolerant St. Augustinegrass cultivar, exhibited a 50% reduction in top growth at 28.1 dS·m-1, while `Floratam', `Floratine', and `Floralawn' St. Augustinegrasses showed the same reduction in top growth at 22.8 dS·m-1. Differences between cultivars were greatest at salinity levels <10 dS·m-1, where `Seville' was twice as salt-tolerant compared to other cultivars. The grasses did not die, although top growth of all cultivars was severely reduced at a salt level equal to seawater.