Special Issue "Mechanism in Adaptation of Trees and Shrubs to Dry and Hot Environments"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eustaquio Gil-Pelegrín
Guest Editor
Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon, Unidad de Recursos Forestales, Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: forest tree ecophysiology; water relations; Mediterranean woody plants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arid lands of the Earth provide hard environments for the existence of plant species. Nevertheless, many trees and shrubs survive in areas under severe combinations of low precipitation and high temperatures, both throughout the year (as in many arid lands permanently under high atmospheric pressure) and in the form of a dry season (as in areas under a Mediterranean-type climate). The climatic change will exacerbate this situation, by increasing the severity of the drought, the length of the aridity period or the extension of the arid territories in the world.

Dry and hot atmospheres, with a high vapor pressure deficit, impose conditions of extreme gradients between the plant leaf and the surrounding air, while sunny days impose a high radiation load with a negative effect in the leaf functioning. Without water to be transpired through the plant, the mechanisms to cope with these environmental conditions are limited.

Woody plants, both trees and shrubs, from many plant families have been able to withstand this adverse circumstance. This Special Issue should serve to increase the knowledge of the mechanisms (physiological, morphoanatomical, phenological, etc.) that plants living in these arid and hot territories develop. Moreover, predictions about the incidence of climatic change on the synergetic effect of high temperature and aridity at a global scale will also be welcome.

The close link between both factors inducing a limitation for plants living in arid and hot territories should be of special interest for this issue.

Research papers reflecting the results of experimental designs, ecological surveys describing the response of plants in their natural areas, and review papers revisiting classical concepts or suggesting new ideas will be welcome in this issue.

Dr. Eustaquio Gil-Pelegrín
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Arid and hot areas
  • Climatic change
  • Water deficit

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Responses and Differences in Tolerance to Water Shortage under Climatic Dryness Conditions in Seedlings from Quercus spp. and Andalusian Q. ilex Populations
Forests 2020, 11(6), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060707 - 24 Jun 2020
Analyzing differences in tolerance to drought in Quercus spp., and the characterization of these responses at the species and individual population level, are imperative for the selection of resilient elite genotypes in reforestation programs. The main objective of this work was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Analyzing differences in tolerance to drought in Quercus spp., and the characterization of these responses at the species and individual population level, are imperative for the selection of resilient elite genotypes in reforestation programs. The main objective of this work was to evaluate differences in the response and tolerance to water shortage under in five Quercus spp. and five Andalusian Q. ilex populations at the inter- and intraspecies level. Six-month-old seedlings grown in perlite were subjected to drought treatments by withholding water for 28 days under mean 37 °C temperature, 28 W m−2 solar irradiance, and 41% humidity. The use of perlite as the substrate enabled the establishment of severe drought stress with reduction in water availability from 73% (field capacity) to 28% (dryness), corresponding to matric potentials of 0 and −30 kPa. Damage symptoms, mortality rate, leaf water content, photosynthetic, and biochemical parameters (amino acids, sugars, phenolics, and pigments) were determined. At the phenotypic level, based on damage symptoms and mortality, Q. ilex behaved as the most drought tolerant species. Drought caused a significant decrease in leaf fluorescence, photosynthesis rate, and stomatal conductance in all Quercus spp. analyzed, being less pronounced in Q. ilex. There were not differences between irrigated and non-irrigated Q. ilex seedlings in the content of sugar and photosynthetic pigments, while the total amino acid and phenolic content significantly increased under drought conditions. As a response to drought, living Q. ilex seedlings adjust stomata opening and gas exchange, and keep hydrated, photosynthetically active, and metabolically competent. At the population level, based on damage symptoms, mortality, and physiological parameters, the eastern Andalusian populations were more tolerant than the western ones. These observations inform the basis for the selection of resilient genotypes to be used in breeding and reforestation programs. Full article
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