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Leaf plasticity and stomatal regulation determines the ability of Arundo donax plantlets to cope with water stress

Romero-Munar, A., Baraza, E., Cifre, J., Achir, C., Gulías, J.
Photosynthetica 2018 v.56 no.2 pp. 698-706
Arundo donax, acclimation, drought, field capacity, gas exchange, greenhouses, leaves, osmotic pressure, phytomass, plant available water, plant growth, plantlets, soil water content, stomatal movement, water stress, water use efficiency
The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of the giant reed (Arundo donax L.) to drought stress at early stages, as well as to determine the effects of limited soil water availability on plant growth, gas exchange, and water-use efficiency. Plantlets of a commercial clone were grown in a greenhouse under two water treatments: at 100% of field capacity and progressive drought for 66 days (until 20% of field capacity). Soil water content, leaf elongation rate, plant water consumption, and gas-exchange parameters were measured throughout the experiment. Total plant biomass, leaf water, and osmotic potential were determined at the end of the experiment. Plant growth and leaf gas-exchange parameters were significantly affected by soil water availability, but only when it was below 40% of field capacity. At early stages, Arundo donax showed drought stress acclimation due to leaf plasticity, stomatal regulation, and osmotic adjustment.