New Forests

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 415–427 | Cite as

Acclimation of cuttings from different willow genotypes to flooding depth level

  • María E. Rodríguez
  • Guillermo N. Doffo
  • Teresa Cerrillo
  • Virginia M. C. Luquez


Climate change will increase the frequency of extreme rain events, causing more flooding episodes. Willows are usually planted in marginal lands like flood prone areas. For willow plantations developed from rootless cuttings, the establishment phase is crucial, because the cuttings are still developing a shoot and root system and have a higher vulnerability to stress. A flooding episode during this early period may have a negative effect upon plants. We analyzed the responses to flooding of eight willow genotypes, representing important species from the economic and ecological point of view (Salix alba, S. matsudana, S. amygdaloides and S. matsudana × S. nigra hybrids). The treatments started when the plants were 2 months old and lasted for 3 weeks. They were identified as: Control (watered to field capacity); F10 (plants submerged 10 cm above soil surface) and F50 (plants submerged 50 cm above soil surface). The F50 treatment showed a greater growth reduction than the F10 treatment in most clones, either measured in height, diameter or total biomass. Both flooding treatments reduced significantly the root-to-shoot ratio compared to control plants. The F50 treatment increased the leaf nitrogen content and specific leaf area in all genotypes. Both treatments changed plant and leaf traits in different ways according to the depth of the floodwater. These changes may have lasting effects on growth recovery in the post-flooding period. Willow clones with a fast initial growth will be the best option to minimize growth reduction in areas prone to experience flooding episodes.


Flooding Nitrogen Specific leaf area Root-to-shoot ratio Salix spp. 



Thanks to M. Bartolozzi, S. Martínez Alonso and J. Vera Bahima for the technical assistance. VMCL is a researcher from CONICET. MER and GND held fellowships from CONICET.


This work was funded by Ministry of Agro Industry, Argentina, to VMCL (PIA 12012).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11056_2018_9627_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (95 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 95 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • María E. Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Guillermo N. Doffo
    • 1
  • Teresa Cerrillo
    • 2
  • Virginia M. C. Luquez
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Fisiología Vegetal (INFIVE), UNLP - CONICET, FCAyFLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.INTA Delta, Río Paraná de Las Palmas y Canal Laurentino ComasCampanaArgentina

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