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Different strategies of drought resistance in three mediterranean sclerophyllous trees growing in the same environmental conditions

Different strategies of drought resistance in three mediterranean sclerophyllous trees growing in the same environmental conditions

New Phytologist 108(3): 267-276

ISSN/ISBN: 0028-646X

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1988.tb04162.x

Measurement have been made of leaf conductance to water vapour, relative water content and water potential in Olea oleaster Hoffmgg et Link, Ceratonia siliqua L. and Laura nobilis L., three evergreen sclerophyllous trees growing in Sicily at sea level. Measurements were made hourly in May and September 1986. Although all the three species are regarded as components of a homogeneous group (sclerophylls) and they all showed a high degree of sclerophylly, the stratergies they adopted to withstand drought were competely different. Olea oleaster behaved as a 'drought-tolerating' species. Drought was 'avoided' by Certonia siliqua by a 'water-spending' strategy and by Larus nobilis by a 'water-saving' strategy combined with the capability of recovering even minimal water losses by dropping leaf water potential drastically. Such differences in drought resistance are discussed in terms of differences in the bulk eleastic modulus of leaf cells and wood anatomy.

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Accession: 005153006

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