Impact of drought on productivity and water use efficiency in 29 genotypes of Populus deltoides×Populus nigra

Authors

  • Romain Monclus,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
    2. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, IFR 110 ‘Génomique, Ecophysiologie et Ecologie Fonctionnelle’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
    3. UR INRA ‘Amélioration, Génétique et Physiologie Forestières’, BP 20619, Ardon, 45166 Olivet Cedex, France
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  • Erwin Dreyer,

    1. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, IFR 110 ‘Génomique, Ecophysiologie et Ecologie Fonctionnelle’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
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  • Marc Villar,

    1. UR INRA ‘Amélioration, Génétique et Physiologie Forestières’, BP 20619, Ardon, 45166 Olivet Cedex, France
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  • Francis M. Delmotte,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Didier Delay,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Jean-Michel Petit,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Cécile Barbaroux,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Didier Le Thiec,

    1. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, IFR 110 ‘Génomique, Ecophysiologie et Ecologie Fonctionnelle’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
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  • Claude Bréchet,

    1. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, IFR 110 ‘Génomique, Ecophysiologie et Ecologie Fonctionnelle’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
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  • Franck Brignolas

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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Author for correspondence: Franck Brignolas Tel: +33 (0) 2 3849 4802 Fax: +33 (0) 2 3849 4911 Email: franck.brignolas@univ-orleans.fr

Summary

  • • We examined the relationships among productivity, water use efficiency (WUE) and drought tolerance in 29 genotypes of Populus × euramericana (Populus deltoides×Populus nigra), and investigated whether some leaf traits could be used as predictors for productivity, WUE and drought tolerance.
  • • At Orléans, France, drought was induced on one field plot by withholding water, while a second plot remained irrigated and was used as a control. Recorded variables included stem traits (e.g. biomass) and leaf structural (e.g. leaf area) and functional traits [e.g. intrinsic water use efficiency (Wi) and carbon isotope discrimination (Δ)].
  • • Productivity and Δ displayed large genotypic variability and were not correlated. Δ scaled negatively with Wi and positively with stomatal conductance under moderate drought, suggesting that the diversity for Δ was mainly driven by stomatal conductance.
  • • Most of the productive genotypes displayed a low level of drought tolerance (i.e. a large reduction of biomass), while the less productive genotypes presented a large range of drought tolerance. The ability to increase WUE in response to water deficit was necessary but not sufficient to explain the genotypic diversity of drought tolerance.

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