Current issue: 54(1)
Under compilation: 54(2)
The aim of this study was to investigate the ecophysiological and morphological characteristics of two salt-tolerant tree species, Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. and Combretum quadrangulare Kurz. A greenhouse experiment with different levels of NaCl salinity (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0%) was set up and the results were compared with those of a field study on non-saline and saline soils. The determination of optimum gas exchange and the development and evaluation of photosynthetic models with and without water deficit were also included in this study.
Morphological characteristics under saline conditions showed that shoot height and diameter growth, shoot internode length, root length/biomass, leaf width and length, leaf area, number and biomass, and shoot/root and leaf/root ratios decreased with salinity, while leaf thickness increased with salinity. More growth was allocated to the roots than to the leaf canopy. Ecophysiological studies in laboratory showed that photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and water potential decreased with salinity, while the CO2 compensation point increased with salinity. Transpiration, dark respiration and photorespiration increased at low salinity but decreased at high salinity levels. In the field study, however, there were no significant differences in stomatal conductance and opening between saline and non-saline soils. Model predictions supported the results of the field measurements. Adaptation to salinity was reflected in an acclimatization of tree structure in the field study. There were both functioning and structural changes of seedlings in the greenhouse experiment
In terms of ecophysiological and morphological characteristics, E. Camaldulensis showed better salt tolerance than C. Quadragulare both in the greenhouse experiment and field study
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
In the experiment Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were transplanted out in the field. The effect of the treatments on gas metabolism and daily height increment were examined. The seedlings were 5-year old Scots pine plants growing in clay pots, covered with plastic bags. Transpiration and photosynthetic rates were monitored with open IRGA measuring system for a few days before being subjected to the treatments and for one month after. In addition, the daily amounts of transpired water and daily height increments were measured. A model for the potential rate of each metabolic process was constructed.
Planting and additional exposure had a strong and rather permanent effect on the self-regulation of the processes. This effect is very similar to that caused by water deficit. Exposure makes the disturbance more pronounced. Transpiration of the transplanted seedlings decreased in a few days after planting to less than half of the potential value and that of the exposed ones decreased to a quarter of the potential value. The daily amounts of photosynthesis decreased to half of the potential value. There was no recovery in photosynthesis during the whole monitoring period of four weeks. There was a slight recovery in transpiration about five weeks after transplanting.
Thus, the treatment probably generated stress conditions throughout the whole growing period, which is characterized by strong self-regulation of photosynthesis and transpiration, thus causing an essential decrease in the total amount of CO2 fixed. The photosynthesis was depressed especially at elevated temperatures after planting, as during water deficit. Planting and additional exposure did not produce any detectable changes in the dependence of the growth rate on temperature or in the effect of self-regulation on height growth. On the other hand, the level of growth was decreased as a result of planting out.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.