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Photosynthetica

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 541–548 | Cite as

Ecophysiological responses of Caragana korshinskii Kom. under extreme drought stress: Leaf abscission and stem survives

  • D. H. Xu
  • X. W. Fang
  • P. X. Su
  • G. Wang
Article

Abstract

Caragana korshinskii Kom. is a perennial xerophytic shrub, well known for its ability to resist drought. In order to study ecophysiological responses of C. korshinskii under extreme drought stress and subsequent rehydration, diurnal patterns of gas exchange and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence parameters of photosystem II as well as Chl content were analyzed. Plant responses to extreme drought included (1) leaf abscission and using stem for photosynthesis, (2) improved instantaneous water-use efficiency, (3) decreased photosynthetic rate and partly closed stomata owing to leaf abscission and low water status, (4) decreased maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) (variable to maximum fluorescence ratio, Fv/Fm), quantum efficiency of noncyclic electron transport of PSII, and Chl a and Chl b. Four days after rehydration, new leaves budded from stems. In the rewatered plants, the chloroplast function was restored, the gas exchange and Chl fluorescence returned to a similar level as control plant. The above result indicated that maintaining an active stem system after leaf abscission during extreme drought stress may be the foundation which engenders these mechanisms rapid regrowth for C. korshinskii in arid environment.

Additional key words

chlorophyll content chlorophyll fluorescence fluorescence quenching photosynthesis stress response 

Abbreviations

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

Chl

chlorophyll

DAW

day after water was withheld

DAR

day after rehydration

DS

drought stress

E

transpiration rate

F0

minimum fluorescence of the dark-adapted state

Fm

maximum fluorescence of the light-adapted state

Fm

maximum fluoresence yield of the dark-adapted state

Fs

steady-state fluoresence

Fv/Fm

maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II

FWC

field water capacity

gs

stomatal conductance

NPQ

nonphotochemical quenching of fluorescence

PPFD

photosynthetic photon flux density

PN

net photosynthetic rate

PSII

photosystem II

RWC

relative water content

SWC

soil water content

Tleaf

leaf temperature

WW

well watered

WUE

instantaneous water-use efficiency

ϕPSII

quantum efficiency of noncyclic electric transport of PSII

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems/School of Life ScienceLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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