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Effects of drought and waterlogging on ultrastructure of Scots pine and Norway spruce needles

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Abstract

Effects of water stress on needle ultrastructure of 2-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and 5-year-old Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] seedlings were studied in greenhouse experiments. Drought stress was induced by leaving seedlings without watering, and waterlogging stress was produced by submerging the seedling containers in water. Needle samples for ultrastructural analyses were collected several times during the experiments, and samples for nutrient analyses at the end of the experiments. In drought stress, plasmolysis of mesophyll and transfusion parenchyma tissues, aggregation of chloroplast stroma and its separation from thylakoids and decreased size and abundance of starch grains in needles of both species were observed. The concentration of lipid bodies around the chloroplasts were detected in pine needles. Calcium and water concentrations in spruce needles were lower by the end of the experiments compared to controls. In waterlogging treatment, swelling of phloem cells in pine needles and large starch grains, slight swelling of thylakoids and increased translucency of plastoglobuli in chloroplasts of both species studied were observed. The phosphorus concentration in pine needles was higher while phosphorus, calcium and magnesium concentrations in spruce needles were lower in the waterlogging treatments compared to controls. Typical symptoms induced by drought stress, e. g. aggregation of chloroplast stroma and its separation from thylakoids, were detected, but, in waterlogging stress, ultrastructural symptoms appeared to be related to the developing nutrient imbalance of needles.

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Correspondence to Virpi Palomäki.

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Palomäki, V., Holopainen, J.K. & Holopainen, T. Effects of drought and waterlogging on ultrastructure of Scots pine and Norway spruce needles. Trees 9, 98–105 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00202129

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Key words

  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Picea abies
  • Drought
  • Waterlogging
  • Needle ultrastructure