Effects of summer drought on the water relations, physiology, and growth of large and small plants of <i>Prosopis glandulosa</i> and <i>Larrea tridentata</i>

TitleEffects of summer drought on the water relations, physiology, and growth of large and small plants of Prosopis glandulosa and Larrea tridentata
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1996
Authorsde Soyza A.G., Whitford WG, Virginia R.A, Reynolds J.F.
EditorBarrow J.R., E. McArthur D, Sosebee RE, Tausch RJ
Conference NameWildland Shrub Symposium, Proceedings: Shrubland Ecosystem Dynamics in a Changing Environment
VolumeGeneral Technical Report INT-GTR-338
Pagination220-223
Date Published1996
PublisherUSDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-338
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
Abstract

Large and small plants of creosotebush and mesquite were subjected to drought during summer 1993. Large and small plants responded to drought with lowered xylem water potential and lowered photosynthetic gas exchange. Large plants appear to maintain a reduced but constant photosynthetic rate during drought, and responded to precipitation with increased photosynthesis. How-ever, small plants attempted to maintain a high photosynthetic rate throughout the season, responding less strongly to  precipitation events, but probably depleting reserves more and causing photosynthesis to decline more when droughted. Our results suggest that  large, established plants are better able to withstand drought than are small, establishing shrubs.

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