Journal Article

Relationship of water status to vegetative growth and leaf gas exchange of peach (<i>Prunus persica</i>) trees on different rootstocks

Luis I. Solari, Scott Johnson and Theodore M. DeJong

in Tree Physiology

Volume 26, issue 10, pages 1333-1341
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/26.10.1333
Relationship of water status to vegetative growth and leaf gas exchange of peach (Prunus persica) trees on different rootstocks

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We investigated relationships between tree water status, vegetative growth and leaf gas exchange of peach trees growing on different rootstocks under field conditions. Tree water status was manipulated by partially covering (0, ∼30 and ∼60%) the tree canopies on individual days and then evaluating the effects of tree water status on vegetative growth and leaf gas exchange. Early morning stem water potentials were approximately −0.4 MPa for trees in all treatments, but mean midday values ranged from −1.1 to −1.7 MPa depending on rootstock and canopy coverage treatment. Relative shoot extension growth rate, leaf conductance, transpiration rate and net CO2 exchange rate differed significantly among trees in the different rootstocks and canopy coverage treatments. Shoot extension growth rate, leaf conductance, leaf transpiration rate and leaf net CO2 exchange rate were linearly correlated with midday stem water potential. These relationships were independent of the rootstock and canopy coverage treatments, indicating that tree water relations are probably directly involved in the mechanism that imparts vegetative growth control by selected peach rootstocks.

Keywords: dwarfing rootstocks; leaf conductance; leaf photosynthesis; shoot growth; size-controlling rootstocks; stem water potential; water relations

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Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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