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Comparative drought responses of quercus suber seedlings of three algerian provenances under greenhouse conditions

Abstract : Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) is one of the most representative Mediterranean forest species that is well studied in Europe and recognized as drought tolerant. While many studies showed that differences exist in drought tolerance mechanisms among provenances, few reports exist on drought responses of Algerian Q. suber seedlings. The present study investigates summer drought behaviour of seedlings originating from three Algerian provenances: from humid (Jijel), sub humid (Azazga) and semi-arid (M'Sila) Mediterranean areas. The summer conditions were simulated by stopping irrigation of the seedlings grown homogenously in greenhouse during 10 weeks from last June to mid-September. Water status, morphological and biochemical parameters were evaluated in watered (control) and non-watered seedlings and survival rate of non-watered seedlings was determined for the three provenances. The results showed differences between seedlings behaviour of the three provenances in watered and non-watered conditions. In watered conditions, M'Sila seedlings showed the highest Relative Water Content and the highest growth. In non-watered conditions, the reduction of soil water content had negative effect on the Relative Water Content and growth (height and shoot diameter) of the seedlings of Jijel and Azazga provenances. Only the stem basal diameter was reduced in the seedlings of M'Sila provenance. Leaves of M'Sila non irrigated seedlings, originating from the drier site (semi-arid), showed morphological and physiological modifications that are known as drought adaptive strategy: low Specific Leaf Area, decrease in Chlorophyll a contents thus avoiding excessive absorption of light energy, a decrease in starch content, an increased accumulation of proteins, sugars and proline. An increase in leaves δ13C was also obtained suggesting a more efficient water use. Azazga seedlings showed an intermediate behaviour between M’Sila and Jijel seedlings in drought conditions. However, contrary to expectation, survival rate was lowest for M’Sila and highestfor Azazga seedlings. The ecotypes studied in this work exhibited different functional traits related to the environmental conditions of the original provenance. Despite the low survival rate of provenances from the most arid environment, they are thought to be suitable candidates in long term for reforestation in the context of global climate change.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 11:19:01 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 9:45:01 AM
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Henia Daoudi, Arezki Derridj, Lynda Hannachi, J.P. Mevy. Comparative drought responses of quercus suber seedlings of three algerian provenances under greenhouse conditions. Revue d'Ecologie, Terre et Vie, Société nationale de protection de la nature, 2017, 73, pp.57 - 70. ⟨hal-02079700⟩



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