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Physiological Responses of Handeliodendron bodinieri (Levl.) Rehd. to Exogenous Calcium Supply under Drought Stress

by Xiuhui Leng 1,2,†, Liang Xue 1,3,†, Jia Wang 1,3, Sheng Li 1,3,*, Zhiling Yang 1, Huadong Ren 1, Xiaohua Yao 1, Zeyu Wu 1 and Jinyao Li 1
1
Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Fuyang 311400, China
2
Institute of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210000, China
3
Observation and Research Station for Rock Desert Ecosystem, Puding 562100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors should be deemed as first co-authors.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010069
Received: 17 November 2019 / Revised: 28 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 6 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
The soils in karst regions, with carbonate rocks as the background material, are characterized by two main factors, drought and high calcium levels. Handeliodendron bodinieri (Levl.) Rehd is an endemic plant species in this area of China. However, few studies have been carried out on the adaptation mechanism of H. bodinieri to drought and high calcium soil. To reveal the physiological responses of H. bodinieri to exogenous calcium under drought stress, 10% PEG-6000 was used to simulate drought stress, and the effects of exogenous calcium at different concentrations on the physiology of H. bodinieri seedlings under drought stress were studied. The results showed that drought stress significantly reduced the relative water content and water potential of H. bodinieri seedlings. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content, O2− and H2O2 production rates significantly increased under drought stress. The addition of exogenous calcium significantly reduced MDA content and O2− and H2O2 production rates. Moreover, peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbic acid peroxidase (APX) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities increased significantly under drought stress. At the same time, the accumulation of osmotic regulators such as soluble sugar, betaine and free proline also increased significantly. The addition of exogenous calcium further increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the accumulation of osmotic regulatory substances. Consequently, the oxidative stress and osmotic stress induced by drought decreased. Finally, exogenous calcium enhanced the photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and transpiration rate (Tr) of H. bodinieri under drought stress and significantly improved water use efficiency (WUE). This study confirmed that the application of exogenous calcium can enhance the water condition, photosynthetic capacity, osmotic regulation and antioxidant capacity of H. bodinieri under drought stress. Of the treatments, the 10 mmol·L−1 CaCl2 treatment is more likely to improve survival of H. bodinieri under drought tolerance. This study provides an important reference for describing the adaptation mechanism and appropriate conservation of H. bodinieri under drought and high calcium conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: exogenous calcium; drought stress; physiological response; calcicole; Handeliodendron bodinieri (Levl.) Rehd exogenous calcium; drought stress; physiological response; calcicole; Handeliodendron bodinieri (Levl.) Rehd
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Leng, X.; Xue, L.; Wang, J.; Li, S.; Yang, Z.; Ren, H.; Yao, X.; Wu, Z.; Li, J. Physiological Responses of Handeliodendron bodinieri (Levl.) Rehd. to Exogenous Calcium Supply under Drought Stress. Forests 2020, 11, 69.

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