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Rapid stomatal response in lemon saves trees and their fruit yields under summer desiccation, but fails under recurring droughts
Year:
2021
Authors :
Cohen, Shabtai
;
.
Volume :
307
Co-Authors:

Yael Wagner
Ella Pozner
Peleg Bar-On
Uria Ramon
Eran Raveh
Efrat Neuhaus
Shabtai Cohen
José Grünzweig
Tamir Klein

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Abstract:

Lemon (Citrus limon) is a fruit tree with major agricultural importance around the Mediterranean basin and is considered to be highly drought resistant. In this study, we tested the effect of two months summer-desiccation on physiological and yield parameters of mature lemon trees growing under Mediterranean climate during three consecutive years. We also examined the efficiency of current irrigation regime, which is based on reference evapo-transpiration. We measured leaf gas exchange and water potential (Ѱl), monitored sap flow and soil moisture and followed flowering, fruit set and fruit size. Lemon trees showed an isohydric stomatal regulation, as stomata maintained leaf water potential >-2 MPa. Summer desiccation caused a gradual decrease in diurnal tree water use, starting immediately after cessation of irrigation, with leaf gas exchange practically halted at the end of the drought period. Tree function recovered following re-irrigation, and fruit yields were not reduced, but even mildly increased during the first year. In contrast, summer desiccation during two consecutive years caused long-term effects of tree activity decrease, significantly lower yield, main branch collapse and even tree mortality. Irrigation amounts matched closely tree water-use amounts; soil moisture was maintained around 26% (v/v); and irrigation responded dynamically to meteorological changes, indicating that current irrigation regime represents highly efficient water management. The lemon desiccation protocol relied on the physiological capacity of this species to avoid short-term drought effects through stomatal closure. Still, this protocol must be managed carefully, to reduce risk to trees and save yields.

Note:
Related Files :
Fruit diameter
Irrigation efficiency
sap flow
Stomatal conductance
Summer desiccation
Verdelli practice
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Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108487
Article number:
108487
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
55393
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
20/06/2021 17:50
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Scientific Publication
Rapid stomatal response in lemon saves trees and their fruit yields under summer desiccation, but fails under recurring droughts
307

Yael Wagner
Ella Pozner
Peleg Bar-On
Uria Ramon
Eran Raveh
Efrat Neuhaus
Shabtai Cohen
José Grünzweig
Tamir Klein

Rapid stomatal response in lemon saves trees and their fruit yields under summer desiccation, but fails under recurring droughts

Lemon (Citrus limon) is a fruit tree with major agricultural importance around the Mediterranean basin and is considered to be highly drought resistant. In this study, we tested the effect of two months summer-desiccation on physiological and yield parameters of mature lemon trees growing under Mediterranean climate during three consecutive years. We also examined the efficiency of current irrigation regime, which is based on reference evapo-transpiration. We measured leaf gas exchange and water potential (Ѱl), monitored sap flow and soil moisture and followed flowering, fruit set and fruit size. Lemon trees showed an isohydric stomatal regulation, as stomata maintained leaf water potential >-2 MPa. Summer desiccation caused a gradual decrease in diurnal tree water use, starting immediately after cessation of irrigation, with leaf gas exchange practically halted at the end of the drought period. Tree function recovered following re-irrigation, and fruit yields were not reduced, but even mildly increased during the first year. In contrast, summer desiccation during two consecutive years caused long-term effects of tree activity decrease, significantly lower yield, main branch collapse and even tree mortality. Irrigation amounts matched closely tree water-use amounts; soil moisture was maintained around 26% (v/v); and irrigation responded dynamically to meteorological changes, indicating that current irrigation regime represents highly efficient water management. The lemon desiccation protocol relied on the physiological capacity of this species to avoid short-term drought effects through stomatal closure. Still, this protocol must be managed carefully, to reduce risk to trees and save yields.

Scientific Publication
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