Some Adaptations of the Tea Plant to Dry Environments

  • M. A. Wijeratne


Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of most developing countries. Sri Lanka’s main agricultural exports are tea, rubber, and coconut. The productivity of such crops largely depends on climate. Therefore, variations in the weather pattern or changes in climate affect agricultural programs, leading to severe economic losses. Moreover, debilitation or death of tree crops changes the local environment because of soil erosion, floods, or dried-up streams. Hence, the use of specific cultivars or species of crops that can adapt to many climate conditions has become a necessity. Prolonged dry spells significantly affect tea production, which means that identifying and assessing inherent adaptations of the tea plant to dry environments are of paramount importance for minimizing the impact of climate change on the economy. Experimental results have shown that under dry conditions, drought-tolerant tea clones maintain a favorable water status because they use soil moisture efficiently through stomatal control and water potential adjustments. The use of drought-tolerant tea clones is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly measure in the tea industry for adapting to global climate change.


Relative Water Content Adaptive Measure High Relative Water Content Plant Water Potential Full Turgor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Wijeratne
    • 1
  1. 1.Tea Research Institute of Sri LankaRatnapuraSri Lanka

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