Soil Water Stress (soil + water_stress)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Soil arthropods as indicators of water stress in Antarctic terrestrial habitats?

Peter Convey
Abstract Abiotic features of Antarctic terrestrial habitats, particularly low temperatures and limited availability of liquid water, strongly influence the ecophysiology and life histories of resident biota. However, while temperature regimes of a range of land microhabitats are reasonably well characterized, much less is known of patterns of soil water stress, as current technology does not allow measurement at the required scale. An alternative approach is to use the water status of individual organisms as a proxy for habitat water status and to sample over several years from a population to identify seasonal or long-term patterns. This broad generalization for terrestrial invertebrates was tested on arthropods in the maritime Antarctic. We present analyses of a long-term data set of body water content generated by monthly sampling for 8,11 years of seven species of soil arthropods (four species of Acari, two Collembola and one Diptera) on maritime Antarctic Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. In all species, there was considerable within- and between-sample variability. Despite this, clear seasonal patterns were present in five species, particularly the two collembolans and a prostigmatid mite. Analyses of monthly water content trends across the entire study period identified several statistically significant trends of either increase or decrease in body water content, which we interpret in the context of regional climate change. The data further support the separation of the species into two groups as follows: firstly, the soft-bodied Collembola and Prostigmata, with limited cuticular sclerotization, which are sensitive to changes in soil moisture and are potentially rapid sensors of microhabitat water status, secondly, more heavily sclerotized forms such as Cryptostigmata (=Oribatida) and Mesostigmata mites, which are much less sensitive and responsive to short-term fluctuations in soil water availability. The significance of these findings is discussed and it is concluded that annual cycles of water content were driven by temperature, mediated via radiation and precipitation, and constituted reliable indicators of habitat moisture regimes. However, detailed ecophysiological studies are required on particular species before such information can be used to predict over long timescales. [source]

Effects of climate on the growth of exotic and indigenous trees in central Zambia

E. N. Chidumayo
Abstract Aim, Climate change has far-reaching effects on species and ecosystems. The aims of this study were to determine how climate factors affect the growth pattern of indigenous and exotic trees in Zambia and to predict tree growth responses to a warmer climate with the use of mathematical models. Location, Two savanna sites in central Zambia. Methods, Diameter at breast height (1.3 m above ground, d.b.h.) of 91 permanently marked trees belonging to three indigenous and four exotic species was measured fortnightly for periods of 1,2 years from 1998 to 2003. Correlation and regression analysis was used to determine the effect of climate factors (minimum, maximum and average temperature and rainfall) on monthly daily d.b.h. increment of each species. Regression models were used to predict the growth behaviour of trees under a 0.5 C warmer climate. Results, Interactions between temperature and rainfall explained 60,98% of the variation in d.b.h. increment in all the tree species, except the exotic Eucalyptus grandis. For deciduous species, stem expansion was delayed by 2,12 weeks following leaf-flush and d.b.h. increment peaked during the rainy season. Evergreen and deciduous species could not be separated on the basis of annual d.b.h. increment because the higher growth rates of deciduous species compensated for the shorter growing period. Mathematical models predicted slight changes in d.b.h. growth pattern under a 0.5 C warmer climate in five of the seven species. Significant changes in d.b.h. growth patterns were predicted in the indigenous Bridelia micrantha and exotic Gmelina arborea under a warmer climate. However, models failed to adequately represent potential soil water stress that might result from changes in tree growth patterns and a warmer climate. Main conclusions, Climate factors explained a large proportion of the variation in diameter growth of both indigenous and exotic trees, rendering it possible to model tree growth patterns from climate data. Tree growth models suggest that a rise in temperature of 0.5 C is unlikely to induce significant changes in the growth behaviour of the majority of the studied species. However, because the growth behaviour of some species may be substantially affected by climate change, it is recommended that strategies for the future production of such climate-sensitive trees should incorporate aspects of climate change. [source]

Abscisic acid and late embryogenesis abundant protein profile changes in winter wheat under progressive drought stress

PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 5 2010
I. I. Vaseva
Abstract Three varieties (cv. Pobeda, Katya and Sadovo) of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), differing in their agronomic characteristics, were analysed during progressive soil water stress and recovery at early vegetation stages. Changes in abscisic acid content, SDS,PAGE and immunoblot profiles of proteins that remained soluble upon heating were monitored. Initially higher ABA content in control Pobeda and Katya corresponded to earlier expression of the studied late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins. A combination of higher ABA content, early immunodetection of dehydrins, and a significant increase of WZY2 transcript levels were observed in drought-stressed leaves of the tolerant variety Katya. One-step RT-PCR analyses of some acidic dehydrin genes (WCOR410b, TADHN) documented their relatively constant high expression levels in leaves under drought stress during early vegetative development. Neutral WZY2 dehydrin, TaLEA2 and TaLEA3 transcripts accumulated gradually with increasing water deficit. Delayed expression of TaLEA2 and TaLEA3 genes was found in the least drought-tolerant wheat, Sadovo. The expression profile of WZY2 revealed two distinct and separate bands, suggesting alternative splicing, which altered as water stress increased. [source]

A model of stomatal conductance to quantify the relationship between leaf transpiration, microclimate and soil water stress

Q. Gao
Abstract A model of stomatal conductance was developed to relate plant transpiration rate to photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), vapour pressure deficit and soil water potential. Parameters of the model include sensitivity of osmotic potential of guard cells to photosynthetic active radiation, elastic modulus of guard cell structure, soil-to-leaf conductance and osmotic potential of guard cells at zero PAR. The model was applied to field observations on three functional types that include 11 species in subtropical southern China. Non-linear statistical regression was used to obtain parameters of the model. The result indicated that the model was capable of predicting stomatal conductance of all the 11 species and three functional types under wide ranges of environmental conditions. Major conclusions included that coniferous trees and shrubs were more tolerant for and resistant to soil water stress than broad-leaf trees due to their lower osmotic potential, lignified guard cell walls, and sunken and suspended guard cell structure under subsidiary epidermal cells. Mid-day depression in transpiration and photosynthesis of pines may be explained by decreased stomatal conductance under a large vapour pressure deficit. Stomatal conductance of pine trees was more strongly affected by vapour pressure deficit than that of other species because of their small soil-to-leaf conductance, which is explainable in terms of xylem tracheids in conifer trees. Tracheids transport water by means of small pit-pairs in their side walls, and are much less efficient than the end-perforated vessel members in broad-leaf xylem systems. These conclusions remain hypothetical until direct measurements of these parameters are available. [source]