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Ecophysiological significance of chlorophyll loss and reduced photochemical efficiency under extreme aridity in Stipa tenacissima L.

AuthorsBalaguer, L.; Pugnaire, Francisco I. ; Martínez-Ferri, E.; Armas, C.; Valladares Ros, Fernando ; Manrique, Esteban
KeywordsArid environments
Photoprotective pigments
Stipa tenacissima
Issue DateMar-2002
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
CitationPlant and Soil 240: 343-352 (2002)
AbstractStipa tenacissima L., a perennial tussock grass widely found in semi-arid environments of the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, is subjected to multiple stresses during the extreme summer conditions of south-east Spain. We characterised the photoprotective mechanisms of S. tenacissima during the transition from spring to summer and autumn. S. tenacissima experienced a marked water deficit ( pd < −8.4 MPa) and the complete suppression of CO2 assimilation in August, associated with a 72% reduction of maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm). These reduced Fv/Fm values were related to the pre-dawn maintenance of high levels of epoxidized forms of xanthophyll-cycle pigments (DPSpd, ca. 42% higher than spring values), and with a 60% reduction in the concentration of total chlorophyll (Chl a + b). These changes were associated with a low capacity of dissipation of the excitation energy non-radiatively (measured as NPQ). Leaves showed a complete recovery of Fv/Fm and xanthophyll and chlorophyll concentrations after the autumn rainfall, which reached levels similar to that of spring. This poikilohydric-type response of S. tenacissima to stress allows for a greater tolerance of water shortage, high temperature and high light intensity, which are typical in these semi-arid environments and accounts for its distinctive opportunistic growth.
Description10 páginas, 2 figuras y 2 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1015745118689
Appears in Collections:(CCMA) Artículos
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