Advertisement

Community Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 123–131 | Cite as

Leaf water relations for 23 angiosperm species from steppe grasslands and associated habitats in Hungary

  • D. Krasser
  • T. KalaposEmail author
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Pressure-volume (p-V) analysis, instantaneous transpiration rate and relevant leaf structural information were used to compare leaf water relations for 23 angiosperm species from semiarid temperate loess-, sand- and saline steppe grasslands and several associated habitats representing a water availability gradient. For the species studied, the most marked differences occurred between grasses and dicots. Grasses in our survey possessed low (highly negative) osmotic potential both at water saturation and at turgor loss, moderate transpiration rate, relatively high leaf dry matter proportion (DMP) and - except for the sclerophyllous Festuca species - high specific leaf area (SLA, area per unit dry mass). In contrast, dicots had lower bulk tissue elasticity, higher (less negative) osmotic potentials, intense transpiration, and lower SLA and DMP than grasses. Therefore, grasses mainly invest in osmotic potential to extract water from drying soil, while dicots rely on relatively inelastic tissue that decreases water potential by a rapid drop of turgor with turgor loss occurring at relatively high water content. Habitat effects were significant for osmotic parameters only. Osmotic potential at full turgor and at turgor loss decreased in the following order: loess grassland > sand grassland = saline grassland > loess wall. Life form influenced leaf structure only, since annuals possessed markedly higher SLA and lower DMP than perennials. Comparison of habitat specialist species within the same genus revealed that certain congeners (Achillea and Aster spp.) do not differ significantly in leaf water relations, thus they might rely on similar water supply in the three steppes. Other congeners (Festuca, Kochia and Plantago spp.) differed considerably, thus for these plants leaf function and structure must be different to ensure survival under the contrasting water regime. For the two generalist grasses (Cynodon dactylon and Dactylis glomerata) habitat-specific populations showed a tendency of increasing capacity for water extraction from soil (more negative water potential) with increasing habitat dryness, although differences were significant only between the extremes of the water availability gradient.

Keywords

Leaf water potential Osmotic potential Pressure - volume analysis Specific leaf area Steppe grassland 

Abbreviations

E

potential transpiration rate

DMP

leaf dry matter proportion

0RWC

relative water content at turgor loss SLA

SLA

specific leaf area

εi

bulk modulus of elasticity

Ψp

turgor potential

Ψw

water potential

Ψπ

osmotic potential

100Ψπ

osmotic potential at full turgor

0Ψπ

osmotic potential at turgor loss

ΔΨπ

the amplitude of osmotic response ( 100Ψπ - 0Ψπ).

References

  1. Bannister, P. 1986. Drought resistance, water potential and water content in some New Zealand plants. Flora 178: 23–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowman, W.D. and S.W. Roberts. 1985a. Seasonal and diurnal water relations adjustments in three evergreen chaparral shrubs. Ecology 66: 738–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowman, W.D. and S.W. Roberts. 1985b. Seasonal changes in tissue elasticity in chaparral shrubs. Physiol. Plant. 65: 233–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheung, Y.N.S., M. T. Tyree and J. Dainty. 1975. Water relations parameters on single leaves obtained in a pressure bomb and some ecological interpretations. Can, J. Bot. 53: 1342–1346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fekete, G., Zs. Moinar and F. Horváth. 1997. Description, identification key and classification for habitats in Hungary and the National Habitat Classification System. Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum, Budapest. [in Hungarian]Google Scholar
  6. Grammatikopoulos, G. 1999. Mechanisms for drought tolerance in two Mediterranean seasonal dimorphic shrubs. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 26: 587–593.Google Scholar
  7. Jackson, R.B., J. Canadell, J. R. Ehleringer, H. A. Mooney, E.O. Sala, and E. D. Schulze. 1996. A global analysis of root distributions for terrestrial biomes. Oecologia 108: 389–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kalapos, T. 1994. Leaf water potential - leaf water deficit relationship for ten species of a semiarid grassland community. Plant and Soil 160: 105–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Knapp, A.K. 1984. Water relations and growth of three grasses during wet and drought years in a tallgrass prairie. Oecologia 65: 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Knapp, A.K. & E. Medina. 1999. Success of C4 photosynthesis in the field: lessons from communities dominated by C4 plants. In: R.F. Sage and R.K. Monson (eds), C4 plant biology. Academic Press, San Diego, 251–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Koide, R. T., R. H. Robichaux, S.R. Morse and C. M. Smith. 1989. Plant water status, hydraulic resistance and capacitance. In: R.W. Pearcy, J. Ehleringer, H.A. Mooney and P.W. Rundel (eds), Plant physiological ecology. Field methods and instrumentation. Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 168–173.Google Scholar
  12. Kubiske, M. E. and M. D. Abrams. 1990. Pressure volume relationship in non-rehydrated tissue at various water deficits. Plant, Cell Envir. 13: 995–1000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kvet, J. and M. Rychnovská. 1965. Contribution to the ecology of the steppe vegetation oh the Tihany peninsula. II. Water retention capacity of some characteristic grass and forb species. Annal. Biol. Tihany 32: 275–288.Google Scholar
  14. Lo-Gullo, M.A. and S. Salleo. 1988. Different strategies of drought resistance in three Mediterranean sclerophyllous trees growing in the same environmental conditions. New Phytol. 108: 267–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Loik, M.E. and J. Harte. 1997. Changes in water relations for leaves exposed to a climate-warming manipulation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Env. Exp. Bot. 37: 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maxwell, J. O. and R. E. Redmann. 1978. Leaf water potential, component potentials and relative water content in a xeric grass, Agropyron dasystachyum (Hook.) Scribn. Oecologia 35: 277–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Muller, R. 1991. Growing season water relations of Rhododendron maximum L. and Kalmia latifolia L. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 118: 123–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Niinemets, Ü. 1999. Components of leaf dry mass per area - thickness and density - alter leaf photosynthetic capacity in reverse directions in woody plants. New Phytol. 144: 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nilsen, E.T., M. R. Sharifi, P.W. Rundel, W. M. Jarrell & R. S. Virginia. 1983. Diurnal and seasonal water relations of the desert phreatophyte Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite) in the Sonoran Desert of California. Ecology 64: 1381–1393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nobel, P.S. and P. W. Jordan. 1983. Transpiration stream of desert species: resistances and capacitances for a C3, C4 and CAM plant. J. Expt. Bot. 34: 1379–1391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pavlik, B.W. 1984. Seasonal changes of osmotic pressure, symplasmic water content and tissue elasticity in the blades of dune grasses growing in situ along the coast of Oregon. Plant Cell Env. 7: 531–539.Google Scholar
  22. Podani, J. 1993. SYN-TAX-pc. Computer programs for multivariate data analysis in ecology and systematics. Version 5.0. User’s guide. Scientia Publishing, Budapest.Google Scholar
  23. Prior, L.D. and D. Eamus. 1999. Seasonal changes in leaf water characteristics of Eucalyptus tetrodonta and Terminalia ferdinandiana saplings in a Northern Australian Savanna. Aust. J. Bot. 47: 587–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rascio, A., M. C. Cedola, G. Sorrentino, D. Pastore and G. Wittmer. 1988. Pressure-volume curves and drought resistance in two wheat genotypes. Physiol. Plant. 73: 122–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sala, O.E. and W.K. Lauenroth. 1982. Small rainfall events: an ecological role in semiarid regions. Oecologia 53: 301–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Soó, R. 1964. Synopsis systematico-geobotanica florae vegetationisque Hungariae I. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest. [in Hungarian]Google Scholar
  27. Tyree, M.T., N. S. Cheung, M.E. MacGregor, and A.J.B. Talbot. 1978. The characteristics of seasonal and ontogenetic changes in the tissue water relations of Acer, Populus, Tsuga and Picea. Can. J. Bot. 56: 635–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tyree, M.T. and H. Richter. 1981. Alternative methods of analysing water potential isotherms: some cautions and clarifications. J. Exp. Bot. 32: 643–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Varga, Z. 1998. Steppe-like grasslands in Hungary: Conservation and sustainable use. In: G. Nagy (ed.), Ecological Aspects of Grassland Management, Grassland Science in Europe, Vol. 1. Proceedings of the 17th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Debrecen, Hungary. Debrecen, pp: 299–311.Google Scholar
  30. Wan, C., R.E. Sosebee and B.L. McMichael. 1993. Drought-induced changes in water relations in broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) under greenhouse- and field-grown conditions. Env. Exp. Bot. 33: 323–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilson, P.J, K. Thompson and J.G. Hodgson. 1999. Specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content as alternative predictors of plant strategies. New Phytol. 143: 155–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zólyomi, B. and G. Fekete. 1994. The Pannonian loess steppe: differentiation in space and time. Abstracta Botanica 18: 29–41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2000

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Taxonomy and EcologyL. Eötvös UniversityBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations