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Water-use efficiency in hybrid poplars: an overview of 15 years of research

Abstract : Because of their impressive growth rates, interspecific hybrid poplars are among the most extensively cultivated trees in temperate latitudes. In line with their general riparian origin, poplar trees are generally highly water-demanding such that the productivity of poplar plantations is tightly dependent on adequate water availability. However, in the current context of rational management of water resources, optimizing the carbon-water trade-off of such plantations is particularly important. Water-use efficiency (WUE, i.e. the amount of plant biomass produced per unit water used) has therefore emerged as a new relevant criterion to be accounted for in poplar selection, in conjunction with other common criteria already used such as disease resistance, productivity and wood quality. We propose here an overview of nearly 15 years of research on WUE in poplar hybrids (Populus deltoides × P. nigra and P. deltoides × P. trichocarpa, the two most commonly interspecific combinations used in Europe). These results were obtained under the framework of seven Ph.D. theses conducted along the 2000-2013 period. Four main questions will be addressed: (1) Is bulk leaf carbon isotope discrimination a good estimator of WUE assessed either at the leaf level (intrinsic WUE, i.e. net CO2 assimilation rate / stomatal conductance to water vapour) or at the whole-plant level (transpiration efficiency, i.e. biomass produced / water loss)? (2) To what extent does WUE vary among and within hybrid crosses and are hybrid rankings for WUE stable with ageing? (3) How do environmental conditions (drought, planting density, soil fertility) affect WUE? and (4) Are WUE and biomass production related and is this relationship modulated by environmental factors? The practical implications opened up by the results and the future research opportunities will then be presented.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 5:07:18 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 18, 2022 - 2:40:01 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-02742977, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 267849


Nicolas Marron, Romain Monclus, Ludovic Bonhomme, Régis Fichot, Sylvain Chamaillard, et al.. Water-use efficiency in hybrid poplars: an overview of 15 years of research. International Poplar Symposium (IPS-VI), International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO). Vienne, AUT., Jul 2014, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ⟨hal-02742977⟩



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