Hydraulic redistribution (HR) of soil water through plant roots is a crucial phenomenon improving the water balance of plants and ecosystems. It is mostly described under severe drought, and not yet studied under moderate drought. We tested the potential of HR under moderate drought, hypothesizing that (H1) tree species redistribute soil water in their roots even under moderate drought and that (H2) neighboring plants are supported with water provided by redistributing plants. Trees were planted in split-root systems with one individual (i. e., split-root plant, SRP) having its roots divided between two pots with one additional tree each. Species were 2-to 4-year-old English oak (Quercus robur L.), European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst). A gradient in soil water potential (psi(soil)) was established between the two pots (-0.55 +/- 0.02MPa and -0.29 +/- 0.03MPa), and HR was observed by labeling with deuterium-enriched water. Irrespective of species identity, 93% of the SRPs redistributed deuterium enriched water from the moist to the drier side, supporting H1. Eighty-eight percent of the plants in the drier pots were deuterium enriched in their roots, with 61 +/-6% of the root water originating from SRP roots. Differences in HR among species were related to their root anatomy with diffuse-porous xylem structure in both beech and-opposing the stem structure-oak roots. In spruce, we found exclusively tracheids. We conclude that water can be redistributed within roots of different tree species along a moderate.soil gradient, accentuating HR as an important water source for drought-stressed plants, with potential implications for ecohydrological and plant physiological sciences. It remains to be shown to what extent HR occurs under field conditions in Central Europe.

Hydraulic redistribution under moderate drought among English oak, European beech and Norway spruce determined by deuterium isotope labeling in a split-root experiment

Tomasella, Martina;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Hydraulic redistribution (HR) of soil water through plant roots is a crucial phenomenon improving the water balance of plants and ecosystems. It is mostly described under severe drought, and not yet studied under moderate drought. We tested the potential of HR under moderate drought, hypothesizing that (H1) tree species redistribute soil water in their roots even under moderate drought and that (H2) neighboring plants are supported with water provided by redistributing plants. Trees were planted in split-root systems with one individual (i. e., split-root plant, SRP) having its roots divided between two pots with one additional tree each. Species were 2-to 4-year-old English oak (Quercus robur L.), European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst). A gradient in soil water potential (psi(soil)) was established between the two pots (-0.55 +/- 0.02MPa and -0.29 +/- 0.03MPa), and HR was observed by labeling with deuterium-enriched water. Irrespective of species identity, 93% of the SRPs redistributed deuterium enriched water from the moist to the drier side, supporting H1. Eighty-eight percent of the plants in the drier pots were deuterium enriched in their roots, with 61 +/-6% of the root water originating from SRP roots. Differences in HR among species were related to their root anatomy with diffuse-porous xylem structure in both beech and-opposing the stem structure-oak roots. In spruce, we found exclusively tracheids. We conclude that water can be redistributed within roots of different tree species along a moderate.soil gradient, accentuating HR as an important water source for drought-stressed plants, with potential implications for ecohydrological and plant physiological sciences. It remains to be shown to what extent HR occurs under field conditions in Central Europe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3032718
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