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Effect of Different Soil Treatments with Hydrogel on the Performance of Drought-Sensitive and Tolerant Tree Species in a Semi-Arid Region

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Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Department of Genetics and Physiology of Forest Trees, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6, CZ-16500 Suchdol, Czechia
2
Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Department of Forest Protection and Entomology, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6, CZ-16500 Suchdol, Czechia
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Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Department of Forestry Technologies and Construction, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Prague 6, CZ-16500 Suchdol, Czechia
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Faculty of Forest Ecology, George-August University of Göttingen, Wilhelmsplatz 1, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020211
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Responses to Drought)
Research Highlights: Although a number of forestry studies have found that hydrogel improves tree performance, studies that are located in semi-arid regions and that include a broad spectrum of tree species and the assessment of multiple physiological traits are lacking. Background and Objectives: The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effects of hydrogel treatments (with sawdust, organic fertilizer, compost, wheat straw, subsoil, or subsoil with a cobble cover) applied during planting on the survival, growth, and physiological traits of 20 tree species. Materials and Methods: In a field experiment (factorial design with seven treatments including a control, 20 species, and ten replicates) in a semi-arid part of Iran, we applied water alone (control) or water with hydrogel and other materials to recently planted samplings. We evaluated tree height, health, osmotic potential, and biochemical properties after 6 months and survival after 12 months. Results: Hydrogel treatment (regardless of other material) significantly improved the performance of drought-sensitive but not of drought-tolerant species. Conclusions: The benefits of hydrogel treatment are substantial for drought-sensitive species but are insignificant for drought-resistant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought stress; hydrogel; physiological trait; health status; tree survival drought stress; hydrogel; physiological trait; health status; tree survival
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Tomášková, I.; Svatoš, M.; Macků, J.; Vanická, H.; Resnerová, K.; Čepl, J.; Holuša, J.; Hosseini, S.M.; Dohrenbusch, A. Effect of Different Soil Treatments with Hydrogel on the Performance of Drought-Sensitive and Tolerant Tree Species in a Semi-Arid Region. Forests 2020, 11, 211.

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