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Role of boron in drought resistance in Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings

Role of boron in drought resistance in Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings

Tree Physiology 21(10): 673-681

Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings fertilized with boron (B) at three rates were grown in a 3:7 mix of forest humus and quartz sand for 18 weeks. Half of the seedlings were not watered during the last 9 days of the experiment (drought treatment). The role of B in drought resistance was assessed by comparing the effects of seedling internal B concentration on the water relations, photosynthesis, growth and nutrition of well-watered and drought-treated seedlings. At the end of the drought treatment, needle B concentrations were 7.0 mg x kg(-1) at the lowest B supply rate and 17.5 and 23.5 mg x kg(-1), respectively, at the higher supply rates. Seedlings at the lowest B supply rate had fewer root tips and mycorrhizas than seedlings at the higher B supply rates. Drought treatment had a more pronounced effect on the water relations and net photosynthetic rate of seedlings than B treatment. Although seedlings at the higher B supply rates lost water more rapidly than seedlings at the low B supply rate-leading to faster stomatal closure and decreased photosynthesis-drought did not affect their final height, whereas drought reduced height growth of seedlings at the low B supply rate.

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Accession: 003551506

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PMID: 11446996

DOI: 10.1093/treephys/21.10.673

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