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Article

Isotopic and Water Relation Responses to Ozone and Water Stress in Seedlings of Three Oak Species with Different Adaptation Strategies

1
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, Via San Bonaventura 13, 50121 Florence, Italy
2
Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), National Research Council (CNR), Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
3
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(8), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080864
Received: 27 June 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 6 August 2020 / Published: 8 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees)
The impact of global changes on forest ecosystem processes is based on the species-specific responses of trees to the combined effect of multiple stressors and the capacity of each species to acclimate and cope with the environment modification. Combined environmental constraints can severely affect plant and ecological processes involved in plant functionality. This study provides novel insights into the impact of a simultaneous pairing of abiotic stresses (i.e., water and ozone (O3) stress) on the responses of oak species. Water stress (using 40 and 100% of soil water content at field capacity—WS and WW treatments, respectively) and O3 exposure (1.0, 1.2, and 1.4 times the ambient concentration—AA, 1.2AA, and 1.4AA, respectively) were carried out on Quercus robur L., Quercus ilex L., and Quercus pubescens Willd. seedlings, to study physiological traits (1. isotope signature [δ13C, δ18O and δ15N], 2. water relation [leaf water potential, leaf water content], 3. leaf gas exchange [light-saturated net photosynthesis, Asat, and stomatal conductance, gs]) for adaptation strategies in a Free-Air Controlled Exposure (FACE) experiment. Ozone decreased Asat in Q. robur and Q. pubescens while water stress decreased it in all three oak species. Ozone did not affect δ13C, whereas δ18O was influenced by O3 especially in Q. robur. This may reflect a reduction of gs with the concomitant reduction in photosynthetic capacity. However, the effect of elevated O3 on leaf gas exchange as indicated by the combined analysis of stable isotopes was much lower than that of water stress. Water stress was detectable by δ13C and by δ18O in all three oak species, while δ15N did not define plant response to stress conditions in any species. The δ13C signal was correlated to leaf water content (LWC) in Q. robur and Q. ilex, showing isohydric and anisohydric strategy, respectively, at increasing stress intensity (low value of LWC). No interactive effect of water stress and O3 exposure on the isotopic responses was found, suggesting no cross-protection on seasonal carbon assimilation independently on the species adaptation strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: δ13C; δ18O; δ15N; ozone; gas exchange; English oak; holm oak; downy oak δ13C; δ18O; δ15N; ozone; gas exchange; English oak; holm oak; downy oak
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cocozza, C.; Paoletti, E.; Mrak, T.; Zavadlav, S.; Levanič, T.; Kraigher, H.; Giovannelli, A.; Hoshika, Y. Isotopic and Water Relation Responses to Ozone and Water Stress in Seedlings of Three Oak Species with Different Adaptation Strategies. Forests 2020, 11, 864. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080864

AMA Style

Cocozza C, Paoletti E, Mrak T, Zavadlav S, Levanič T, Kraigher H, Giovannelli A, Hoshika Y. Isotopic and Water Relation Responses to Ozone and Water Stress in Seedlings of Three Oak Species with Different Adaptation Strategies. Forests. 2020; 11(8):864. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080864

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cocozza, Claudia, Elena Paoletti, Tanja Mrak, Saša Zavadlav, Tom Levanič, Hojka Kraigher, Alessio Giovannelli, and Yasutomo Hoshika. 2020. "Isotopic and Water Relation Responses to Ozone and Water Stress in Seedlings of Three Oak Species with Different Adaptation Strategies" Forests 11, no. 8: 864. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080864

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