Leaf Water Potential, Osmotic Potential, and Solute Accumulation of Several Hardwood Species as Affected by Manipulation of Throughfall Precipitation in an Upland Quercus Forest
Plant growth is more often limited by water stress in the temperate region than by any other environmental variable (Kramer 1983). The response of forests to increased occurrence of drought, associated with increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, has emerged as a key issue in the global climate change scenarios (Wigley et al. 1984). The forests of the southeastern United States have been identified as potentially sensitive to climate change because present rainfall levels are barely sufficient to meet current potential evaporation and transpiration demands of vegetation (Nielson et al. 1989). An increase in the frequency and severity of drought associated with the greenhouse effect (Rind et al. 1990) has the potential to greatly alter the distribution and productivity of tree species (Pastor and Post 1988), with an increase in the proportion of the growing season during which soil moisture is below wilting point inevitably increasing (Pastor and Post 1988). Drought tolerance of the individual species will dictate how ecosystems respond to such climate-change scenarios.
KeywordsOsmotic Adjustment Dehydration Tolerance Quinic Acid Understory Species Overstory Tree
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