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Effects of irrigation and air humidity preconditioning on water relations, growth and survival of Rosmarinus officinalis plants during and after transplanting

AuthorsSánchez-Blanco, María Jesús ; Ferrández, Trinitario; Navarro García, Alejandra ; Bañón, Sebastián; Alarcón Cabañero, Juan José
KeywordsDeficit irrigation
Low humidity
Water status
Ornamental species
Issue Date18-Sep-2004
CitationJournal of Plant Physiology 161(10) :675-682 (2004)
AbstractThe effect of different irrigation and air humidity conditioning treatments on the morphological and physiological responses of Rosmarinus officinalis in nursery conditions was investigated in order to evaluate the degree of hardening resulting from these conditions. Rosmarinus officinalis seedlings were pot-grown during 4 months in two greenhouses (nursery period), in which two irrigation treatments were used (control and deficit). In one of these greenhouses, air humidity was controlled using a dehumidifying system (low humidity), in the other greenhouse the air conditions were not artificially modified (control humidity). After the nursery period, the plants of all treatments were transplanted and well watered (100% water holding capacity for 1 month, transplanting period). After this period, they received no water (establishment period). At the end of the nursery period it was seen that deficit irrigation had altered the morphology of the R. officinalis plants by reducing plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, total dry weight, and root length, while humidity influenced the parameters related with plant water relations. Low air humidity and deficit irrigation-induced tissue dehydration and lower stomatal conductance values (gs). The plants subjected to deficit irrigation developed leaf osmotic adjustment, which was maintained during the transplanting period. At that time, the plants that had been exposed to deficit irrigation and low humidity showed efficient stomatal regulation (lower gs values). After transplanting and during the establishment period, these plants showed a better water status (higher Ψl and gs values). Their post-planting survival rate improved as a result of acclimation processes.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2004.01.011
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