Plastic response of four maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) families to controlled soil water deficit

  • Muriel Feinard-Duranceau
  • Alexane Berthier
  • Cécile Vincent-Barbaroux
  • Sara Marin
  • Francisco-José Lario
  • Philippe RozenbergEmail author
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mediterranean Pines


Key message

Separating the internal (ontogenetic) and external (environmental) components of maritime pine development during controlled soil water deficit helps to highlight the plastic response. The adjusted measurements reveal significant differences between families for their plastic response for several physiology and growth traits.


Soil water deficit is and will be a growing problem in some regions. Pinus pinaster Ait. is a species of commercial interest and is recognized as a drought-avoiding species. It is thus of interest to evaluate the adaptation potential of P. pinaster to soil water deficit.


This paper aims to estimate the plastic response to the variation of water availability at the family level (half-sibs).


Two-year-old P. pinaster cuttings from four families were submitted during 6 weeks to two contrasting watering regimes. The experiment started in April 2011 shortly after sprouting. The photosynthesis and stomatal conductance to water vapor were measured on 1-year-old needles. Intrinsic water-use efficiency was calculated as the ratio of photosynthesis to stomatal conductance. Radial growth, length of terminal shoot, and total height were also measured. The ontogenetic component of tree development was estimated on the well-watered trees for all the traits. Then, this development effect was eliminated from the data collected on the trees submitted to the soil water deficit in order to keep only the effect of this soil water deficit.


After 6 weeks of reduced watering, the value of all adjusted traits decreased. An average plastic response to the variation of water availability was found to be significant and variable at the family level for the six adjusted variables.


These results suggest that there is genetic variation of phenotypic plasticity to drought in P. pinaster for several traits, including stomatal conductance, which appears to be a promising variable for future selection for resistance to drought.


Adaptation Ontogenetic CO2 assimilation Stomatal conductance Water-use efficiency Growth 



The authors thank Patrick Poursat, Christophe Borel, and Bernard Lhomel of the experimental unit UE GBFOR, and Frédéric Millier, from the plateau technique GENOBOIS, INRA Val de Loire, Orléans, France, for the installation and the management of the experimental design.


Xunta de Galicia was the owner of the original material from which the cuttings were derived. The cuttings were produced by TRAGSA with funds of Restauración y Gestión Forestal – Bosques del Futuro (PSS-310000-2009-20) project of the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry. The research was funded by the Region Centre-Val de Loire France Project Xylome no. 2009 0003 8263.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13595_2018_719_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (188 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 188 kb).
13595_2018_719_MOESM2_ESM.txt (33 kb)
ESM 2 (TXT 33 kb).


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muriel Feinard-Duranceau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexane Berthier
    • 1
    • 3
  • Cécile Vincent-Barbaroux
    • 1
  • Sara Marin
    • 4
  • Francisco-José Lario
    • 5
  • Philippe Rozenberg
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.LBLGC, INRA, Université d’Orléans, USC 1328OrléansFrance
  2. 2.ERCAE EA 7493 Université d’OrléansOrléansFrance
  3. 3.INRA UMR 588 BIOFORA (formerly AGPF)Orleans Cedex 2France
  4. 4.Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, CNRS, ENFA, UMR5174 EDBToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Empresa de Transformación Agraria SA, TRAGSA, Vivero de MacedaOurenseSpain

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