Dry mass production, allocation patterns and water use efficiency of two conifers with different water use strategies under elevated [CO2], warming and drought conditions

Honglang Duan*, Guomin Huang, Shuangxi Zhou, David T. Tissue

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Knowledge regarding the interactive effects of elevated [CO2], warming and drought on dry mass production, allocation and water use efficiency (WUE) of tree seedlings is limited, particularly in trees exhibiting different stomatal regulation strategies. Seedlings of Callitris rhomboidea (relatively anisohydric) and Pinus radiata (relatively isohydric) were grown in two [CO2] (Ca (400 μmol mol−1) and Ce (640 μmol mol−1)) and two temperature (Ta (ambient) and Te (ambient + 4 °C)) treatments in a sun-lit glasshouse under well-watered conditions prior to imposition of the drought. Ce increased mass production in C. rhomboidea (but not in P. radiata), while drought limited mass production in both species. Mass production was greatest in the combination of Ce, Te and well-watered conditions. Pinus radiata allocated relatively more dry mass into roots and had higher plant WUE than C. rhomboidea. Noticeably, mass allocation patterns in C. rhomboidea varied as a function of the treatments, but those of P. radiata were constant. Ce enhanced leaf WUE of both species, but to a greater degree under drought stress than well-watered conditions. Moderate drought stress increased both leaf and plant WUE compared to well-watered conditions. C. rhomboidea exhibited plasticity to variable climate conditions through morphological adjustments, while P. radiata exhibited a highly conservative strategy. Collectively, these findings indicate that the two species have different strategies in resource acquisition and utilisation under changing environmental conditions. Future studies on tree response to climate change need to fully consider the integration of species traits, including stomatal behaviour and hydraulic strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)605-618
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Journal of Forest Research
    Volume137
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

    Keywords

    • dry mass allocation
    • water use efficiency
    • enriched [ CO2]
    • elevated temperature
    • water stress
    • conifers

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