Climate change-induced rise of air temperatures and the increase of extreme climatic events, such as droughts, will largely affect plant growth and hydraulics, leading to mortality events all over the globe. In this study, we investigated the growth and hydraulic responses of seedlings of contrasting functional types. Pinus sylvestris
spp. and Castanea sativa
seedlings were grown in a common garden experiment under four treatments: control, air warming, drought and their combination during two consecutive growing periods. Height and diameter increments, stomatal conductance and stem water potentials were measured during both growing seasons. Additionally, hydraulic parameters such as xylem-specific native and maximum hydraulic conductivities, and native percentage of loss of conductivity were measured at the end of the entire experiment. Our results clearly pointed to different adaptive strategies of the studied species. Scots pine
displayed a relatively isohydric behavior with a strict stomata control prohibiting native embolism whereas sweet chestnut and oak as relatively anisohydric species displayed an increased loss of native conductivity as a results of low water potentials. Seasonal timing of shoot and diameter growth also differed among functional types influencing drought impacts. Additionally, the possibility of embolism reversal seemed to be limited under the study conditions.
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