Morpho-anatomical, physiological and biochemical adjustments in response to root zone salinity stress and high solar radiation in two Mediterranean evergreen shrubs, Myrtus communis and Pistacia lentiscus
Article first published online: 7 APR 2006
Volume 170, Issue 4, pages 779–794, June 2006
How to Cite
Tattini, M., Remorini, D., Pinelli, P., Agati, G., Saracini, E., Traversi, M. L. and Massai, R. (2006), Morpho-anatomical, physiological and biochemical adjustments in response to root zone salinity stress and high solar radiation in two Mediterranean evergreen shrubs, Myrtus communis and Pistacia lentiscus. New Phytologist, 170: 779–794. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01723.x
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2006
- Received: 14 November 2005; Accepted: 10 February 2006
- flavonoid glycosides;
- fluorescence spectroscopy;
- gas exchange and photosynthetic performance;
- hydrolysable tannins;
- ionic and water relations;
- leaf morpho-anatomy and leaf optics;
- lipid peroxidation
- • Salt- and light-induced changes in morpho-anatomical, physiological and biochemical traits were analysed in Myrtus communis and Pistacia lentiscus with a view to explaining their ecological distribution in the Mediterranean basin.
- • In plants exposed to 20 or 100% solar radiation and supplied with 0 or 200 mm NaCl, measurements were conducted for ionic and water relations and photosynthetic performance, leaf morpho-anatomical and optical properties and tissue-specific accumulation of tannins and flavonoids.
- • Net carbon gain and photosystem II (PSII) efficiency decreased less in P. lentiscus than in M. communis when exposed to salinity stress, the former having a superior ability to use Na+ and Cl− for osmotic adjustment. Morpho-anatomical traits also allowed P. lentiscus to protect sensitive targets in the leaf from the combined action of salinity stress and high solar radiation to a greater degree than M. communis. Salt and light-induced increases in carbon allocated to polyphenols, particularly to flavonoids, were greater in M. communis than in P. lentiscus, and appeared to be related to leaf oxidative damage.
- • Our data may conclusively explain the negligible distribution of M. communis in open Mediterranean areas suffering from salinity stress, and suggest a key antioxidant function of flavonoids in response to different stressful conditions.