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Water relations of drought-stressed temperate trees benefit from short drought-intermitting rainfall events
JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift)
ID 4500293
Author(s) Dietrich, Lars; Kahmen, Ansgar
Author(s) at UniBasel Kahmen, Ansgar
Dietrich, Lars
Year 2019
Title Water relations of drought-stressed temperate trees benefit from short drought-intermitting rainfall events
Journal Agricultural and forest meteorology
Volume 265
Pages / Article-Number 70-77
Keywords Mature trees; Drought; Recovery; Tree water deficit; Sap flow; Water potential
Mesh terms Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicinePhysical SciencesAgronomyForestryMeteorology & Atmospheric SciencesAgricultureForestryMeteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Abstract Decreasing amounts of precipitation and more frequent dry periods will challenge temperate European forests in the future. During such dry periods, short drought-intermitting rainfall events might be the only renewing water source for trees. We investigated the effects of short drought-intermitting rainfall events on the water relations of mature individuals of six different tree species in a near-natural temperate forest during the exceptionally dry summer of 2015. We found the trees to strongly respond to short drought-intermitting rainfall events: maximum daily sap flow recovered already at precipitation amounts of 1.5 mm by up to 20%, and tree water deficit (TWD) and midday shoot water potential (Psi(midday)) improved by up to 60% from rainfall amounts of > 4.5 mm. We speculate that a mix of foliar and root water uptake as well as relaxation of canopy VPD and thus stomatal water control lead to the observed recoveries. Hydraulic conductivity was found to partly explain the differences in TWD recovery among species. Duration of the rainfall-facilitated recovery of tree water relations was on average 3 days in the coniferous species and Q. petraea but distinctly longer in C. betulus and F. sylvatica for which it reached 9 days. These results show that drought-intermitting short rainfall events strongly facilitate the relaxation of water stress in temperate tree species during drought events and possibly contribute as such to the ability of temperate trees to withstand longer periods of drought.
Publisher Elsevier
ISSN/ISBN 0168-1923 ; 1873-2240
Full Text on edoc No
Digital Object Identifier DOI 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.11.012
ISI-Number 000456751200006
Document type (ISI) Article

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