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Forests 2016, 7(6), 110; doi:10.3390/f7060110

Seedling Growth and Physiological Responses of Sixteen Eucalypt Taxa under Controlled Water Regime

1
Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Florestais, Av. Pádua Dias 11, C. P. 530, CEP 13400-970 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
2
Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Via de Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, km 5, CEP 14.884-900 Jaboticabal, SP, Bolsista PQ 2-CNPq, Brazil
3
Federal University of Santa Catarina, Ulysses Gaboardi hwy, km 3, C.P. 101, CEP 89520-000 Curitibanos, SC, Brazil
4
Forest Industries Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558, Queensland, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael Battaglia and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
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Abstract

We assessed growth and physiological responses of Eucalyptus and Corymbia species to water limitation aiming to widen possibilities for plantations in dry climatic conditions. We selected 16 taxa: 4 Corymbia and 12 Eucalyptus species from the Subgenera Symphyomyrtus. Seedlings were evaluated from 100 to 170 days after sowing. Growth and physiological traits showed significant differences among taxa and between two levels of water availability. Water limitation significantly impacted biomass production and physiological characteristics, however in different levels. Leaf area and biomass production decreased 15%–48% under water limitation among taxa. Eucalyptus moluccana, CCV 2, and VM1 (drought tolerant clone) showed the largest decrease in leaf area. Transpiration across taxa decreased 30%–57% and photosynthesis 14%–48% under water limited condition. Taxa from cold environments were less responsive in leaf area reduction under water limitation, and taxa from Exsertaria section showed lower reduction in photosynthesis (E. camaldulensis showed the lowest reduction). Responses to water limitation are related to the environment of origin. E. molucana, the only Adnataria species from a high precipitation region (>1500 mm year−1), was one of the most sensitive in reduction of biomass production, different behavior from the other Adnataria species, originated in regions with rainfall <750 mm year−1. Water limitation increased leaf-level water use efficiency by 18% on average, 8% in E. longirostrata, and 28% in E. camaldulensis, E. brassiana, and E. crebra. Growth and physiological responses observed show the potential of different eucalypts taxa to tolerate water limited environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Eucalyptus; Corymbia; water stress; productivity; drought tolerance Eucalyptus; Corymbia; water stress; productivity; drought tolerance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Silva, P.H.M.; Campoe, O.C.; de Paula, R.C.; Lee, D.J. Seedling Growth and Physiological Responses of Sixteen Eucalypt Taxa under Controlled Water Regime. Forests 2016, 7, 110.

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