Carbon dynamics of eucalypt seedlings exposed to progressive drought in elevated [CO2] and elevated temperature
Duan, H and Amthor, JS and Duursma, RA and O'Grady, AP and Choat, B and Tissue, DT, Carbon dynamics of eucalypt seedlings exposed to progressive drought in elevated [CO2] and elevated temperature, Tree Physiology: An International Botanical Journal, 33, (8) pp. 779-792. ISSN 0829-318X (2013) [Refereed Article]
Elevated [CO2] and temperature may alter the drought responses of tree seedling growth, photosynthesis, respiration and total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) status depending on drought intensity and duration. Few studies have addressed these important climatic interactions or their consequences. We grew Eucalyptus globulus Labill. seedlings in two [CO2] concentrations (400 and 640 μl l−1) and two temperatures (28/17 and 32/21 °C) (day/night) in a sun-lit glasshouse, and grew them in well-watered conditions or exposed them to two drought treatments having undergone different previous water conditions (i.e., rewatered drought and sustained drought). Progressive drought in both drought treatments led to similar limitations in growth, photosynthesis and respiration, but reductions in TNC concentration were not observed. Elevated [CO2] ameliorated the impact of the drought during the moderate drought phase (i.e., Day 63 to Day 79) by increasing photosynthesis and enhancing leaf and whole-plant TNC content. In contrast, elevated temperature exacerbated the impact of the drought during the moderate drought phase by reducing photosynthesis, increasing leaf respiration and decreasing whole-plant TNC content. Extreme drought (i.e., Day 79 to Day 103) eliminated [CO2] and temperature effects on plant growth, photosynthesis and respiration. The combined effects of elevated [CO2] and elevated temperature on moderate drought stressed seedlings were reduced with progressive drought, with no sustained effects on growth despite greater whole-plant TNC content.