Contrasting Hydraulic Strategies during Dry Soil Conditions in Quercus rubra and Acer rubrum in a Sandy Site in Michigan

TitleContrasting Hydraulic Strategies during Dry Soil Conditions in Quercus rubra and Acer rubrum in a Sandy Site in Michigan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsThomsen J, Bohrer G, Matheny A, Ivanov V, He L, Renninger H, Schäfer K
JournalForests
Volume4
Issue4
Pagination1106 - 1120
Date Published12/2013
Type of ArticlePI
KeywordsWATER RELATIONS
Abstract

Correlation analyses were carried out for the dynamics of leaf water potential in two broad-leaf deciduous tree species in a sandy site under a range of air vapor pressure deficits and a relatively dry range of soil conditions. During nights when the soil is dry, the diffuse-porous, isohydric and shallow-rooted Acer rubrum does not recharge its xylem and leaf water storage to the same capacity that is observed during nights when the soil is moist. The ring-porous, deep-rooted Quercus rubra displays a more anisohydric behavior and appears to be capable of recharging to capacity at night-time even when soil moisture at the top 1 m is near wilting point, probably by accessing deeper soil layers than A. rubrum. Compared to A. rubrum, Q. rubra displays only a minimal level of down-regulation of stomatal conductance, which leads to a reduction of leaf water potential during times when vapor pressure deficit is high and soil moisture is limiting. We determine that the two species, despite typically being categorized by ecosystem models under the same plant functional type—mid-successional, temperate broadleaf—display different hydraulic strategies. These differences may lead to large differences between the species in water relations, transpiration and productivity under different precipitation and humidity regimes.

URLhttp://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/4/4/1106
DOI10.3390/f4041106