Responses to mild water deficit and rewatering differ among secondary metabolites but are similar among provenances within Eucalyptus species
McKiernan, AB and Potts, BM and Brodribb, TJ and Hovenden, MJ and Davies, NW and McAdam, SAM and Ross, JJ and Rodemann, T and O'Reilly-Wapstra, JM, Responses to mild water deficit and rewatering differ among secondary metabolites but are similar among provenances within Eucalyptus species, Tree Physiology, 36, (2) pp. 133-147. ISSN 0829-318X (2016) [Refereed Article]
Water deficit associated with drought can severely affect plants and influence ecological interactions involving plant secondary metabolites. We tested the effect of mild water deficit and rewatering on physiological, morphological and chemical traits of juvenile Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Eucalyptus viminalis Labill. We also tested if responses of juvenile eucalypts to water deficit and rewatering varied within species using provenances across a rainfall gradient. Both species and all provenances were similarly affected by mild water deficit and rewatering, as only foliar abscisic acid levels differed among provenances during water deficit. Across species and provenances, water deficit decreased leaf water potential, above-ground biomass and formylated phloroglucinol compound concentrations, and increased condensed tannin concentrations. Rewatering reduced leaf carbon : nitrogen, and total phenolic and chlorogenic acid concentrations. Water deficit and rewatering had no effect on total oil or individual terpene concentrations. Levels of trait plasticity due to water deficit and rewatering were less than levels of constitutive trait variation among provenances. The overall uniformity of responses to the treatments regardless of native provenance indicates limited diversification of plastic responses when compared with the larger quantitative variation of constitutive traits within these species. These responses to mild water deficit may differ from responses to more extreme water deficit or to responses of juvenile/mature eucalypts growing at each locality.