Severe Water Stress (severe + water_stress)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Chronic exposure to increasing background ozone impairs stomatal functioning in grassland species

Abstract Two species found in temperate calcareous and mesotrophic grasslands (Dactylis glomerata and Leontodon hispidus) were exposed to eight ozone treatments spanning preindustrial to post-2100 regimes, and late-season effects on stomatal functioning were investigated. The plants were grown as a mixed community in 14 L containers and were exposed to ozone in ventilated solardomes (dome-shaped greenhouses) for 20 weeks from early May to late September 2007. Ozone exposures were based on O3 concentrations from a nearby upland area, and provided the following seasonal 24 h means: 21.4, 39.9 (simulated ambient), 50.2, 59.4, 74.9, 83.3, 101.3 and 102.5 ppb. In both species, stomatal conductance of undamaged inner canopy leaves developing since a midseason cutback increased linearly with increasing background ozone concentration. Imposition of severe water stress by leaf excision indicated that increasing background ozone concentration decreased the ability of leaves to limit water loss, implying impaired stomatal control. The threshold ozone concentrations for these effects were 15,40 ppb above current ambient in upland UK, and were within the range of ozone concentrations anticipated for much of Europe by the latter part of this century. The potential mechanism behind the impaired stomatal functioning was investigated using a transpiration assay. Unlike for lower ozone treatments, apparently healthy green leaves of L. hispidus that had developed in the 101.3 ppb treatment did not close their stomata in response to 1.5 ,m abscisic acid (ABA); indeed stomatal opening initially occurred in this treatment. Thus, ozone appears to be disrupting the ABA-induced signal transduction pathway for stomatal control thereby reducing the ability of plants to respond to drought. These results have potentially wide-reaching implications for the functioning of communities under global warming where periods of soil drying and episodes of high vapour pressure deficit are likely to be more severe. [source]

Responses of shoot growth and survival to water stress gradient in diploid and tetraploid populations of Lolium multiflorum and L. perenne

Shu-ichi Sugiyama
Abstract Drought stress is one of the critical environmental factors in determining growth and survival of herbage grasses. In this study, by using a hydroponic culture system including different amounts of polyethylene glycol (PEG), responses of plant shoots to water stress in four different intensities (0 Mpa, ,0.6 Mpa, ,1.2 Mpa and ,1.8 Mpa) were examined in diploid and tetraploid cultivars of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and perennial ryegrass (L. perenne). Since freezing injury is caused by cell dehydration, freezing tolerance was also examined for six subzero temperatures (,11, ,12, ,14, ,16, ,18 and ,20C) in both species. L. multiflorum had a larger shoot biomass at all stress intensities and a lower survival rate under severe water stress and freezing stress conditions than L. perenne. Thus, there was a trade-off (negative correlation) between potential growth under a stress-free condition and survival under a severe stress condition in diploid and tetraploid cultivars of both species. This trade-off was mediated by tissue water content. High water content led to a high growth rate through increasing specific leaf area, while low water content resulted in a high tissue osmotic potential that could confer high cell dehydration tolerance. [source]

Global perspective on hydrology, water balance, and water resources management in arid basins

Yanjun Shen
Abstract Arid and semiarid regions comprise a large part of the world's terrestrial area and are home to hundreds of millions of people. Water resources in arid regions are rare and critical to society and to ecosystems. The hydrologic cycle in arid and semiarid regions has been greatly altered due to long-term human exploitation. Under conditions of global warming, water resources in these regions are expected to be more unstable and ecosystems likely will suffer from severe water stress. In the current special issue contributed to understanding ecohydrologic processes and water-related problems in arid regions of western China, this paper provides a global perspective on the hydrology and water balance of six major arid basins of the world. A number of global datasets, including the state-of-the-art ensemble simulation of land surface models by GSWP2 (Global Soil Wetness Project II, a project by GEWEX), were used to address the water balance terms in the world's major hydroclimatic regions. The common characteristics of hydrologic cycles and water balance in arid basins are as follows: strong evapotranspiration characterizes the hydrological cycle in arid basins; and in water use sectors irrigation consumes a large amount of water, resulting in degradation of native vegetation. From the ecohydrology viewpoint, a comprehensive study of hydrological and ecological processes of water utilization in arid basins is urgently needed. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Enhanced drought-tolerance in the homoploid hybrid species Pinus densata: implication for its habitat divergence from two progenitors

Fei Ma
Summary ,,The homoploid hybrid species Pinus densata is restricted to alpine habitats that exceed the altitude range of its two parental species, Pinus tabulaeformis and Pinus yunnanensis. Alpine habitats usually generate cold-induced water stress in plants. To understand the ecological differentiation between these three species, we examined their physiological responses to drought stress. ,,Potted seedlings of three species were subjected to low, mild, moderate and severe water stress in an automatic-controlled glasshouse. Fifteen indicators of fitness were measured for each species in each treatment, and most of these decreased as drought increased. ,,Pinus densata exhibited higher fitness than both parental species in terms of total dry mass production (TDM) and long-term water use efficiency (WUEL) across all treatments; several other ecophysiological traits were also extreme but not across every treatment, and not always in the highest stress treatment. ,,These results indicate that extreme characters that have become well fixed in P. densata, confer a faster seedling growth rate and more efficient water use, which in turn should confer increased drought tolerance. These traits of P. densata likely promoted its ecological separation from its parental species and facilitated its successful colonization and establishment in high-altitude habitats. [source]

Identification of quantitative trait loci for drought tolerance at seedling stage by screening a large number of introgression lines in maize

PLANT BREEDING, Issue 4 2009
Z. Hao
Abstract The maize genome hosts tremendous phenotypic and molecular diversity. Introgression lines (ILs), developed by continuous backcrossing to recurrent parents, could provide a unique genetic stock for quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. Using maize lines from six heterotic groups of different ecological zones, we developed >500 BC2F2 IL sets by crossing 11 inbred lines (as recurrent parents) with >200 local maize inbred lines (as donor parents). Of them, 34 IL sets were selected as a subset for drought tolerance screening and a total of 417 ILs survived under severe water stress at seedling stage. One set of 32 surviving ILs, derived from Chang7-2/DHuang212, was used for QTL mapping with simple sequence repeat markers covering the whole genome, with seven QTL detected. Furthermore, investigating all surviving ILs, we identified two common regions in bin 3.04, corresponding to marker intervals bnlg1904,umc1772 and umc1223,bnlg1957, respectively, which shared high genetic variation in three IL sets. Our results indicated that selective genotyping can be used to identify genetic loci for complex traits. The ILs, highly selected for drought tolerance in this study, provide a unique set of materials for both genomic studies and development of enhanced germplasm resources. [source]