Residual water losses mediate the trade-off between growth and drought survival across saplings of 12 tropical rainforest tree species with contrasting hydraulic strategies - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Experimental Botany Year : 2024

Residual water losses mediate the trade-off between growth and drought survival across saplings of 12 tropical rainforest tree species with contrasting hydraulic strategies

Camille Ziegler
Clément Stahl
Louis Foltzer
  • Function : Author
Bastien Gérard
Jean-Yves Goret
Pascale Maillard
Damien Bonal

Abstract

Knowledge of the physiological mechanisms underlying species vulnerability to drought is critical for better understanding patterns of tree mortality. Investigating plant adaptive strategies to drought should thus help to fill this knowledge gap, especially in tropical rainforests exhibiting high functional diversity. In a semi-controlled drought experiment using 12 rainforest tree species, we investigated the diversity in hydraulic strategies and whether they determined the ability of saplings to use stored non-structural carbohydrates during an extreme imposed drought. We further explored the importance of water- and carbon-use strategies in relation to drought survival through a modelling approach. Hydraulic strategies varied considerably across species with a continuum between dehydration tolerance and avoidance. During dehydration leading to hydraulic failure and irrespective of hydraulic strategies, species showed strong declines in whole-plant starch concentrations and maintenance, or even increases in soluble sugar concentrations, potentially favouring osmotic adjustments. Residual water losses mediated the trade-off between time to hydraulic failure and growth, indicating that dehydration avoidance is an effective drought-survival strategy linked to the ‘fast–slow’ continuum of plant performance at the sapling stage. Further investigations on residual water losses may be key to understanding the response of tropical rainforest tree communities to climate change.

Dates and versions

hal-04608174 , version 1 (11-06-2024)

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Camille Ziegler, Hervé Cochard, Clément Stahl, Louis Foltzer, Bastien Gérard, et al.. Residual water losses mediate the trade-off between growth and drought survival across saplings of 12 tropical rainforest tree species with contrasting hydraulic strategies. Journal of Experimental Botany, 2024, ⟨10.1093/jxb/erae159⟩. ⟨hal-04608174⟩
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