Journal Article

Drought and the diurnal patterns of stem CO<sub>2</sub> efflux and xylem CO<sub>2</sub> concentration in young oak (<i>Quercus robur</i>)

An Saveyn, Kathy Steppe and Raoul Lemeur

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 3, pages 365-374
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online March 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/27.3.365
Drought and the diurnal patterns of stem CO2 efflux and xylem CO2 concentration in young oak (Quercus robur)

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A young potted oak (Quercus robur L.) tree was subjected to drought by interrupting the water supply for 9 days. The tree was placed in a growth chamber in which daily patterns of temperature and radiation were constant. The effects of drought on the water and carbon status of the stem were examined by measuring stem sap flow rate, stem water potential, stem diameter variations, stem CO2 efflux rate (FCO2) and xylem CO2 concentration ([CO2*]). Before and after the drought treatment, diurnal fluctuations in FCO2 and [CO2*] corresponded well with variations in stem temperature (Tst). Daytime depressions in FCO2 did not occur. During the drought treatment, FCO2 still responded to stepwise changes in temperature, but diurnal fluctuations in FCO2 were no longer correlated with diurnal fluctuations in Tst. From the moment daily growth rate of the stem became zero, diurnal fluctuations in FCO2 became closely correlated with diameter variations, exhibiting clear daytime depressions. The depressions in FCO2 were likely the result of a reduction in metabolic activity caused by the lowered daytime stem water status. Xylem [CO2*] showed clear daytime depressions in response to drought. When the tree was re-watered, FCO2 and [CO2*] exhibited sharp increases, coinciding with an increase in stem diameter. After resumption of the water supply, daytime depressions in FCO2 and [CO2*] disappeared and diurnal fluctuations in FCO2 and [CO2*] corresponded again with variations in Tst.

Keywords: diameter variations; growth; sap flow; stem respiration; stem water potential; water deficit; water reserves

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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