Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 15190

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Forest Dynamics, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Interests: ecophysiology; tree physiology; growth processes; tree water relations; ecological legacy effects; dendrometer; stem radius changes; ultrasonic acoustic emissions; climate change

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Schönbeinstrasse 6, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Interests: forest ecology; tree carbon relations; tree growth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tree growth and tree water relationships are intricately linked in many ways. Stomatal regulation is a key process at the crown periphery, where CO2 uptake is downregulated by an insufficient water supply and thus determines the carbon balance of the tree and, therefore, the availability of resources for growth. Another key process is cell growth, e.g., in the cambium of the trunk, which is directly linked to tree water relations. The theory dates back to the 1960s, when Lockhart1 described how the turgor threshold of the cambium must be crossed before cell expansion and cell division are promoted. Lockhart’s theory implicitly considers growth not only as a function of the sugar source, but also of the water conditions of the tree, as different environmental conditions can independently determine turgor and C uptake. There is no doubt that there are more relationships between tree growth and water relations. The importance of the underlying mechanisms is of crucial importance to understand when and under what conditions trees grow and when they begin to starve in a changing environment. We therefore call for papers to be submitted as research or review articles that contribute to this topic.

Dr. Roman Zweifel
Dr. Günter Hoch
Dr. Alessio Giovannelli
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • tree growth
  • tree water relations
  • tree water deficit
  • xylogenesis
  • bark growth
  • shoot growth
  • wood anatomy
  • carbon balance
  • gas exchange
  • root water uptake
  • soil–plant–atmosphere continuum

Published Papers (4 papers)

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20 pages, 5531 KiB  
Article
Disentangling the Effects of Genotype and Environment on Growth and Wood Features of Balfourodendron riedelianum Trees by Common Garden Experiments in Brazil
by Jane Rodrigues da Silva, Sergio Rossi, Siddhartha Khare, Eduardo Luiz Longui and Carmen Regina Marcati
Forests 2020, 11(9), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090905 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3319
Abstract
Intraspecific studies with populations replicated in different sites allow the effects of genotype and environment on wood features and plant growth to be distinguished. Based on climate change predictions, this distinction is important for establishing future patterns in the distribution of tree species. [...] Read more.
Intraspecific studies with populations replicated in different sites allow the effects of genotype and environment on wood features and plant growth to be distinguished. Based on climate change predictions, this distinction is important for establishing future patterns in the distribution of tree species. We quantified the effects of genotype and environment on wood features and growth of 30-year-old Balfourodendron riedelianum trees. We used three provenances planted in two common garden experiments with difference in precipitation and temperature. We applied linear models to estimate the variability in wood and growth features and transfer functions to evaluate the responses of these features to temperature, precipitation, and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). Our results showed that genotype had an effect on vessels and rays, where narrower vessels with thinner walls and larger intervessel pits, and shorter, narrower and more numerous rays were observed in provenances from drier sites. We also observed the effect of the environment on wood features and growth. Trees growing in the wetter site were taller and larger, and they had wider vessels with thicker walls and lower ray density. Transfer functions indicated that an increase in temperature results in larger vessels with thicker walls, taller and denser rays, shorter and narrower fibers with thinner walls, and lower wood density. From a functional perspective, these features make trees growing in warmer environments more prone to drought-induced embolisms and more vulnerable to mechanical damage and pathogen attacks. Tree growth varied with precipitation and SPEI, being negatively affected in the drier site. Overall, we demonstrated that both genotype and environment affect wood features, while tree growth is mainly influenced by the environment. Plastic responses in hydraulic characteristics could represent important functional traits to mitigate the consequences of ongoing climate change on the growth and survival of the species within its natural range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees)
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15 pages, 2812 KiB  
Article
Isotopic and Water Relation Responses to Ozone and Water Stress in Seedlings of Three Oak Species with Different Adaptation Strategies
by Claudia Cocozza, Elena Paoletti, Tanja Mrak, Saša Zavadlav, Tom Levanič, Hojka Kraigher, Alessio Giovannelli and Yasutomo Hoshika
Forests 2020, 11(8), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080864 - 8 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3021
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees)
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16 pages, 3156 KiB  
Article
Male and Female Plants of Salix viminalis Perform Similarly to Flooding in Morphology, Anatomy, and Physiology
by Fei-fei Zhai, Hai-dong Li, Shao-wei Zhang, Zhen-jian Li, Jun-xiang Liu, Yong-qiang Qian, Guan-sheng Ju, Yun-xing Zhang, Long Liu, Lei Han and Zhen-yuan Sun
Forests 2020, 11(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030321 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2991
Abstract
Salix viminalis L., a dioecious species, is widely distributed in riparian zones, and flooding is one of the most common abiotic stresses that this species suffers. In this study, we investigated the morphological, anatomical, and physiological responses of male vs. female plants of [...] Read more.
Salix viminalis L., a dioecious species, is widely distributed in riparian zones, and flooding is one of the most common abiotic stresses that this species suffers. In this study, we investigated the morphological, anatomical, and physiological responses of male vs. female plants of S. viminalis to flooding. The results showed that the plant height and root collar diameter were stimulated by flooding treatment, which corresponded with higher dry weight of the stem and leaf. However, the dry weight of the underground part decreased, which might be due to the primary root having stopped growing. The little-influenced net photosynthesis rate (Pn) under flooding treatment could guarantee rapid growth of the aboveground part, while the unaffected leaf anatomical structure and photosynthetic pigment contents could ensure the normal operation of photosynthetic apparatus. Under a flooding environment, the production ratio of superoxide free radical (O2∙-) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents increased, indicating that the cell membrane was damaged and oxidative stress was induced. At the same time, the antioxidant enzyme system, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and osmotic adjustment substances, involving proline (Pro) and solute protein (SP), began to play a positive role in resisting flooding stress. Different from our expectation, the male and female plants of S. viminalis performed similarly under flooding, and no significant differences were discovered. The results indicate that both male and female plants of S. viminalis are tolerant to flooding. Thus, both male and female plants of S. viminalis could be planted in frequent flooding zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees)
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14 pages, 4189 KiB  
Technical Note
Processing and Extraction of Seasonal Tree Physiological Parameters from Stem Radius Time Series
by Simon Knüsel, Richard L. Peters, Matthias Haeni, Micah Wilhelm and Roman Zweifel
Forests 2021, 12(6), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060765 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4572
Abstract
Radial stem size changes, measured with automated dendrometers at intra-daily resolution, offer great potential to link environmental conditions with tree physiology at the seasonal scale. Such measurements need to be time-aligned, cleaned of outliers and shifts, gap-filled and analysed for reversible (water-related) and [...] Read more.
Radial stem size changes, measured with automated dendrometers at intra-daily resolution, offer great potential to link environmental conditions with tree physiology at the seasonal scale. Such measurements need to be time-aligned, cleaned of outliers and shifts, gap-filled and analysed for reversible (water-related) and irreversible (growth-related) fractions to obtain physiologically meaningful data. Therefore, comprehensive tools are needed for reproducible data processing and analytics of dendrometer data. Here we present a transparent method, compiled in the R package treenetproc, to turn raw dendrometer data into clean, physiologically interpretable information, i.e., stem growth, tree water deficit, growth phenological phases, mean daily shrinkage and their respective timings. The removal of errors is facilitated by additional functions and supported with graphical visualizations. To ensure reproducible data handling, the processing parameters and induced changes to the raw data are documented in the output and, thus, are a step towards a standardized processing of automatically measured stem radius time series. We discuss examples, such as the seasonality of growth or the dependence of growth on atmospheric and soil drought. The presented growth and water-related physiological variables at high temporal resolution offer novel physiological insights into the seasonally varying responses of trees to changing environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationships between Growth and Water Relations of Trees)
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