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Response of Mediterranean Ornamental Plants to Drought Stress

Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Università degli Studi di Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, 1-20133 Milano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 6;
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Effects on Performance of Horticultural Crops)
Ornamental plants use unique adaptive mechanisms to overcome the negative effects of drought stress. A large number of species grown in the Mediterranean area offer the opportunity to select some for ornamental purposes with the ability to adapt to drought conditions. The plants tolerant to drought stress show different adaptation mechanisms to overcome drought stress, including morphological, physiological, and biochemical modifications. These responses include increasing root/shoot ratio, growth reduction, leaf anatomy change, and reduction of leaf size and total leaf area to limit water loss and guarantee photosynthesis. In this review, the effect of drought stress on photosynthesis and chlorophyll a fluorescence is discussed. Recent information on the mechanisms of signal transduction and the development of drought tolerance in ornamental plants is provided. Finally, drought-induced oxidative stress is analyzed and discussed. The purpose of this review is to deepen our knowledge of how drought may modify the morphological and physiological characteristics of plants and reduce their aesthetic value—that is, the key parameter of assessment of ornamental plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: growth; gas exchange; chlorophyll fluorescence; oxidative stress; signal transduction; plant choice; green areas growth; gas exchange; chlorophyll fluorescence; oxidative stress; signal transduction; plant choice; green areas
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Toscano, S.; Ferrante, A.; Romano, D. Response of Mediterranean Ornamental Plants to Drought Stress. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 6.

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