Net CO2 assimilation rate (A) and plant water relations of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Flordaking] leaves were monitored during development under field conditions. Leaf conductance to water vapor (gl) and transpiration rate (E) of unfolding and expanding leaves approached maximum values before maximum A values were achieved. Net CO2 assimilation rate and water use efficiency (WUE) were greatest for recently expanded leaves and gradually declined with age after full expansion. Leaf water potential (ψw) was similar for all leaf ages under field conditions. Leaf dry weight/cm2 and chlorophyll/cm2 increased with leaf age after expansion. Diurnal patterns of gl, E, and ψw were similar for expanded spring- and summer-flush leaves. Midday ψw of −2.4 MPa (ψp = about 0.3 MPa) did not reduce gl. Expanding shoots had higher osmotic potentials (ψπ) and thus maintained lower turgor potentials (ψp) than fully expanded shoots. Shoot and leaf elongation rates were related exponentially to ψp and were reduced drastically below ψp 1.0 and 0.7 MPa, respectively. The bulk modulus of elasticity (є) increased linearly with ψp, but there were no significant differences in є of expanding and nonexpanding shoots. As leaf water deficits developed, shoot and leaf expansion were inhibited prior to gl or A. Thus, a moderate level of water stress can reduce the rate of vegetative growth of peach trees without concomitant reductions in carbon assimilation.
Citrus blight or young tree decline, is a wilt-like disease of unknown etiology which is characterized by restricted water movement and an upset in normal zinc distribution patterns. Diurnal leaf and fruit water potentials and leaf stomatal conductances of sweet orange Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck leaves on trees in various stages of decline were characterized to determine the progression of this disorder. All blight affected trees, regardless of severity of tree condition, had similar diurnal water relations. Blight affected trees have fewer and smaller leaves, less leaf area per tree, lower stomatal conductances, and lower diurnal transpiration rates than healthy trees. These differences did not result in any apparent changes in specific leaf weight, leaf osmotic potentials or in the critical leaf water deficits at which leaf turgor was lost. At equivalent transpirational fluxes, leaf water potential was much lower in blight affected trees than in healthy trees. Therefore, the water stress symptoms associated with blight are related to increased resistances in the water transport system and are not a result of lost stomatal function or changes in water relations characteristics of leaves that remain on blight affected trees.
electric solenoid valves and an automatic timer. Irrigation was scheduled weekly based on estimates of crop evapotranspiration (ET) but adjusted as needed each week to maintain similar leaf water potentials among treatments. Crop ET was calculated by
each week to maintain similar leaf water potentials (LWP) among treatments. Crop ET was calculated by multiplying reference ET by a crop coefficient for blackberry that was downloaded daily along with weather data, including air temperature and
Abbreviations: E, transpiration; g s , stomatal conductance; Pn, net photosynthesis; ψ, leaf water potential. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations
Competitive effects of different grass species were evaluated on growth, yield, leaf N, and leaf water potential of 8-year-old peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees and on weed abundance. Two cultivars (`Loring' on Lovell rootstock and `Redhaven' on Halford rootstock) of peach trees were planted in separate orchards in 1987. Nine orchard floor treatments were installed beneath the peach trees in 1995: Festuca arundinacea Schreber (tall fescue); Lolium perenne L., var. Manhattan II (perennial ryegrass); Lolium perenne L., var. Linn; Agrostis gigantea Roth (red top); Dactylis glomerata L. (orchardgrass); Phleum pratense L. (timothy); Bromus carinatus Hook. and Arn. (brome); weedy control; and herbicide weed control (simazine, glyphosate). In general, grasses reduced vegetative growth and yield in both cultivars. Orchardgrass was one of the most competitive species and reduced vertical water sprout length by 15% to 27% and lateral shoot length on fruit-bearing branches by 19% to 30% compared with herbicide treatments. Orchardgrass reduced yield by 37% and 24% in `Loring' and `Redhaven', respectively. All grasses were not equally competitive; `Linn' perennial ryegrass did not significantly reduce growth or yield in `Redhaven'. Control treatments with weeds also did not differ from herbicide treatments in peach tree growth and yield. Grass and weed ground covers consistently reduced peach tree leaf N by at least 10%, compared to herbicide treatment, possibly due to reduced root growth. `Redhaven' root density in the top 10 cm of soil was ≈12 cm·cm-3 in herbicide strips vs. 1 cm·cm-3 in weedy or ground-covered strips. Peach leaf water potential was not affected by grass and weeds. Weed weights were significantly reduced by all grasses compared with weedy control. The results indicate that peach cultivars respond differently to grass competition, but the relative competitiveness of each grass species was similar for both cultivars. Grass competition reduced growth, yield, and pruning weights of mature peach trees, but the reduction in vegetative growth did not significantly reduce pruning time per tree. Grasses that are less inhibitory to peach yield may be useful for weed management in orchards.
inhibition of photosynthesis; WUE, water-use efficiency; ψ L , leaf water potential. 1 Former Graduate Student. Present address: Dept. of Horticulture, Auburn Univ., AL 36849. 2 Professor. 3 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Forestry. Technical guidance and
Spring- and summer-flush pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] leaves were evaluated to determine climatological factors affecting leaf gas exchange, biophysical factors affecting growth, and to investigate the potential impact of a summer growth flush on alternate bearing. Expanding leaves had a higher osmotic potential, lower turgor pressure (ψp), poorer stomatal control, higher cuticular conductance, and a lower bulk modulus of elasticity than expanded leaves. Stomatal closure occurred at a progressively lower leaf water potential (ψw) as leaves aged. Net CO2 assimilation rate and leaf conductance to water vapor (g1) of pecan in the field did not decline in response to high atmospheric water stress and minimum midday ψw of −1.4 to −1.9 MPa when trees were supplied with adequate soil moisture. Leaf elongation rate was exponentially related to with marked reductions in growth occurring at ψp below 0.6 MPa and a complete cessation in growth below ψp = 0.3 MPa. Net CO2 assimilation rates of expanded leaves were up to 22 μmol·s−1m−2, several times higher than previously reported. Net CO2 assimilation rate was not inhibited by 41.5°C leaf temperature, 2000 μmol·s−1m−2 photosynthetic photon flux, and 3 kPa vapor pressure deficits (VPD). Transpiration rate (E) increased greatly with increasing VPD. Values of gl and E were generally higher than those reported for woody C3 perennials. The efficient water transport system of pecans under conditions of nonlimiting soil moisture may be a consequence of evolution in a floodplain ecosystem.
Abbreviations: ψ P , leaf turgor potential; ψ s , leaf osmotic potential; ψ W , leaf water potential; DPM, disintegration per minute; MEOH, methanol; Pn, photosynthesis; RWC, relative water content; Rs, stomatal resistance. 1 Current address
Horticulture and Crops Dept., Cook College. Author to whom reprint requests should be addressed. Abbreviations: Ψ w, leaf water potential; r L , leaf resistance; SLW, specific leaf weight. 1 Horticulture and Crops Dept., Cook College. 3 Rutgers