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Turgor maintenance, solute content and recovery from water stress were examined in the drought-tolerant shrub Artemisia tridentata. Predawn water potentials of shrubs receiving supplemental water remained above ?2 MPa throughout summer, while predawn water potentials of untreated shrubs decreased to ?5 MPa. Osmotic potentials decreased in conjunction with water potentials maintaining turgor pressures above 0 MPa. The decreases in osmotic potentials were not the result of osmotic adjustment (i.e. solute accumulation). Leaf solute contents decreased during drought, but leaf water volumes decreased more than 75% from spring to summer, thereby passively concentrating solutes within the leaves. The maintenance of positive...
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We investigated the effects of winter and summer drought on plants of the Colorado Plateau in western North America. This winter-cold, summer-hot desert region receives both winter and summer precipitation. Droughts were imposed for two consecutive years using rainout shelters. Here, we examine drought effects on the hydrologic interactions between plants and soil. We chose three perennial species for this study, representing different rooting patterns and responsiveness to precipitation pulses: Oryzopsis hymenoides, a perennial bunch grass with shallow roots; Gutierrezia sarothrae, a subshrub with dimorphic roots; and Ceratoides lanata, a predominantly deep-rooted woody shrub. Drought effects on plant water status...
Shrubs of the Great Basin desert in Utah are subjected to a prolonged summer drought. One potential consequence of drought is a reduced water transport capability of the xylem. This is due to drought-induced cavitation. We used the centrifuge method to measure the vulnerability of root and stem xylem to cavitation in six native shrub species. The shrubs fall into three categories with regards to rooting depth, vegetative phenology and plant water status during drought. The “summer green� group (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus, Atriplex canescens, Atriplex confertifolia) sustains summer drought with a relatively shallow root system (<2.5 m), but maintains leaf area. A “drought deciduous� group (Grayia spinosa,...
In the southwestern United States, desert mountain ranges are “islands” of forest in a sea of dry grasslands and desert shrubs. It is likely that this region will face a hotter climate in the future. A particular concern is that many of these tree species (oaks, pines, and junipers) are restricted to higher elevations and that a warming climate will reduce the available habitat causing populations to decline. Although all trees are restricted to mountains in this region, different species prefer different local habitats (for example, one might prefer south slopes, others valley bottoms). This suggests that more than simply elevation determines tree habitat. We took detailed measurements of temperature and soil moisture...
Abstract (from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112714003028): Plant functional traits (PFTs) have increased in popularity in recent years to describe various ecosystems and biological phenomena while advancing general ecological principles. To date, few have investigated distributional attributes of individual PFTs and their relationship with key attributes and processes of forest ecosystems. The objective of this study was to quantify the distribution and contribution of various PFTs in determining forest structure, live tree production (volume and biomass), and tree mortality across the eastern US. In total, 16 metrics representing species specific gravity and their shade, flood, and drought...


    map background search result map search result map Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part I: effects on soil water and plant water uptake Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part I: effects on soil water and plant water uptake