The effect of vapour pressure deficit on stomatal conductance, sap pH and leaf-specific hydraulic conductance in Eucalyptus globulus clones grown under two watering regimes uri icon


  • Conclusions Changes in sap pH seemed to be a response to changes in atmospheric conditions rather than soil water in the species. Stomata closed after a considerable amount of hydraulic conductance was lost, although intraspecific differences in leaf-specific hydraulic conductance suggest the possibility of selection for improved productivity under water-limiting conditions combined with high temperatures in the early stages of growth.
  • Key Results There was a significant effect of both clone and watering regime in stomatal conductance and leaf-specific hydraulic conductance, but not in sap pH. Sap pH decreased as water potential and stomatal conductance decreased under increasing vapour pressure deficit. There was no significant relationship between stomatal conductance and leaf-specific hydraulic conductance. Stomata closure precluded shoot water potential from falling below -1 center dot 8 MPa. The percentage loss of hydraulic conductance ranged from 40 to 85 %. The highest and lowest leaf-specific hydraulic conductances were measured in clones from the same half-sib families. Water shortage reduced growth and evapotranspiration, decreases in evapotranspiration ranging from 14 to 32 % in the five clones tested.
  • Methods Rooted cuttings were grown in pots and submitted to two watering regimes. Stomatal conductance, shoot water potential, sap pH and hydraulic conductance were measured consecutively in each plant over 4 weeks under vapour pressure deficits ranging 0 center dot 42 to 2 center dot 25 kPa. Evapotranspiration, growth in leaf area and shoot biomass were also determined.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016