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Article

Impact of Drought and Salinity on Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua L.): Understanding Tree Ecophysiological Responses in the Urban Context

1
Institute of BioEconomy-National Research Council (IBE-CNR), Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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Section of Basic Research in Horticulture, Department of Plant Protection, Institute of Horticulture Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW (WULS-SGGW), Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111032
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Understanding urban tree responses to drought, salt stress, and co-occurring stresses, as well as the capability to recover afterward, is important to prevent the cited stresses’ negative effects on tree performance and ecological functionality. We investigated the impact of drought and salinity, alone and in combination, on leaf water potential, gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence, xanthophyll cycle pigments, and isoprene emission of the urban tree species Liquidambar styraciflua L. Generally, drought had a rapid negative impact, while the effect of salt stress was more long lasting. Both stressors significantly decreased photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance, as well as the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) and the photochemical efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII), but increased nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). Under stress conditions, a strong negative correlation between the PSII efficiency and the xanthophyll cycle pigment composition indicated a nocturnal retention of zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin in a state primed for energy dissipation. Drought and salt stress inhibited isoprene emission from leaves, although its emission was less responsive to stresses than stomatal conductance and photosynthesis. Full recovery of photosynthetic parameters took place after rewatering and washing off of excess salt, indicating that no permanent damage occurred, and suggesting downregulation rather than permanent impairment of the photosynthetic apparatus. Sweetgum trees were capable of withstanding and surviving moderate drought and salt events by activating defense mechanisms conferring tolerance to environmental stresses, without increasing the emission in the atmosphere of the highly reactive isoprene. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; chlorophyll a fluorescence; isoprene; photosynthetic efficiency; salinity; xanthophyll cycle drought; chlorophyll a fluorescence; isoprene; photosynthetic efficiency; salinity; xanthophyll cycle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baraldi, R.; Przybysz, A.; Facini, O.; Pierdonà, L.; Carriero, G.; Bertazza, G.; Neri, L. Impact of Drought and Salinity on Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua L.): Understanding Tree Ecophysiological Responses in the Urban Context. Forests 2019, 10, 1032. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111032

AMA Style

Baraldi R, Przybysz A, Facini O, Pierdonà L, Carriero G, Bertazza G, Neri L. Impact of Drought and Salinity on Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua L.): Understanding Tree Ecophysiological Responses in the Urban Context. Forests. 2019; 10(11):1032. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111032

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baraldi, Rita, Arkadiusz Przybysz, Osvaldo Facini, Lorenzo Pierdonà, Giulia Carriero, Gianpaolo Bertazza, and Luisa Neri. 2019. "Impact of Drought and Salinity on Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua L.): Understanding Tree Ecophysiological Responses in the Urban Context" Forests 10, no. 11: 1032. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111032

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