Background. The urban area continues growing, and in most cases, the planning of green areas does not include in the species selection their physiological characteristics, which determine plant survival.
Question/Hypothesis. Stomatal conductance (gs) is a key variable that provides information on how the environment affects a plant physiology. Therefore, it is important to inquire how gs is affected in an urban site.
Studied species/Data description. Data of environmental variables (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR; air temperature, TA; vapor pressure deficit, VPD), leaf water potential, ψ; and gs were collected in four species Ficus retusa, Fraxinus uhdei, Ligustrum lucidum and Quercus rugosa.
Study site and years of study. Two sites, in the center and in the rural area, were selected in Puebla, Mexico, during the wet and dry seasons (2012-2013).
Methods. Environmental variables, gs and ψ were measured with a diffusion porometer and a pressure bomb through the day every two hours in apparently healthy leaves. Also an experiment under greenhouse conditions was performed.
Results. Maximum values of PAR, TA and VPD were registered in the city center in the dry season, whereas maximum gs and ψ were found in the rural area in the wet season. ψ and gs were significantly higher in F. retusa followed by F. uhdei, whereas the lower values were observed in L lucidum and Q. rugosa. All variables affected gs for all species.
Conclusions. The results demonstrate that it is possible to recommend Ficus retusa and Fraxinus uhdei as suitable species to ameliorate the urban environment.
- urban heat island
- city of Puebla
- urban vegetation
- stomatal conductance
- leaf water potential
- photosynthetically active radiation
- air temperature
- vapor pressure deficit