Next Article in Journal
Multivariate and Spatial Analysis of Physicochemical Parameters in an Irrigation District, Chihuahua, Mexico
Previous Article in Journal
Empirical, Dimensional and Inspectional Analysis in the Design of Bottom Intake Racks
Open AccessArticle

Hydraulic Conductivity Characteristics of Desert Plant Organs: Coping with Drought Tolerance Strategy

by Shanjia Li 1,2,*, Peixi Su 2, Haina Zhang 3,4, Zijuan Zhou 2, Rui Shi 2 and Wei Gou 1
1
School of Life Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou 730050, China
2
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
3
Research Center of Water Resources and Ecological Environment of Poyang Lake, the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Nanchang 330029, China
4
School of Water Resources and Ecological Engineering, Nanchang Institute of Technology, Nanchang 330099, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(8), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081036
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 5 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics)
Plant hydraulic conductivity (K) refers to the rate of water flow (kg s−1) per unit pressure drop (MPa), which drives flow through the plant organ system. It is an important eco-physiology index for measuring plant water absorption and transport capacity. A field study was conducted in the arid region of the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China, plant hydraulic conductivity was measured by high-pressure flowmeter (HPFM) to investigate the characteristics of hydraulic conductivity of typical dominant desert plants (Reaumuria soongarica M., Nitraria sphaerocarpa M., and Sympegma regelii B.) and their relationship with functional traits of leaves, stems, and roots, and explaining their adaptation strategies to desert environment from the perspective of plant organs hydraulic conductivity. The results showed that the hydraulic conductivity of the leaves and stems of R. soongarica and N. sphaerocarpa (KLA, leaf hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf area; KLW, leaf hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf weight; KSLA, stem hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf area; KSLW, stem hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf weight) were significantly lower than those of S. regelii, while their fine root (KRL, root hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf length; KRSA, root hydraulic conductivity per unit root surface area) and whole root (KTRW, whole root hydraulic conductivity per unit root weight) of hydraulic conductivity were significantly higher than those of S. regelii. In addition, KLA and KLW, KSLA and KSLW, and KRL and KRSA in three desert plants all exhibited consistent trends. Correlation analysis illustrated that the hydraulic conductivity of leaves and stems had a significantly positive correlation, but they had no significant negative correlation with the specific leaf weight (SLW, specific leaf weight). The hydraulic conductivity of fine root weight (KRW, root hydraulic conductivity per unit root weight) and specific root surface area (SRSA, specific root surface area) showed significantly positive correlation (r = 0.727, P < 0.05). The results demonstrated that the R. soongarica and N. sphaerocarpa preserved their water content through the strong leaf absorption capacity of soil water and the low water dispersion rates of leaves to adapt to the harsher arid habitat, which is more drought tolerant than S. regelii. View Full-Text
Keywords: desert plant; hydraulic conductivity; high-pressure flowmeter; plant functional traits; drought tolerance desert plant; hydraulic conductivity; high-pressure flowmeter; plant functional traits; drought tolerance
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Li, S.; Su, P.; Zhang, H.; Zhou, Z.; Shi, R.; Gou, W. Hydraulic Conductivity Characteristics of Desert Plant Organs: Coping with Drought Tolerance Strategy. Water 2018, 10, 1036.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop