Researchers Find Populus euphratica Counteracts Drought Stress Through the Coupling Process of Foliar Water Uptake and Hydraulic Redistribution
In arid regions, plants can directly absorb and utilize dew through leaves; at the same time, some deep-rooted plants also have the ability to redistribute water in the root system, but there is a lack of evidence for the coupling of these two water utilization processes. Prof. HAO Xingming's team at the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, found through in situ measurement experiments that there is the phenomenon of dew participating in the root water redistribution process in Populus euphratica in arid area, i.e., there is the coupling process of foliar water uptake and root water redistribution. This work was published in Annals of Botany on April 4.
P. euphratica canopy can directly absorb and utilize dew, and the dew can enter into the soil through the hydraulic redistribution process of the root system; the contribution rate of dew to the soil water of P. euphratica roots can reach up to 28.3%, and the canopy dew treatment for many days can significantly improve the soil moisture status of P. euphratica roots. Meanwhile, Trunk water storage, as a key intermediate link in the water transfer of P. euphratica, links the two processes of canopy uptake of dew and hydraulic redistribution in the root system. Trunk water storage was mainly replenished from May to July and depleted during the rest of the year.
The results of the study can provide scientific and technological support for the conservation of vegetation ecosystems and the restoration of degraded ecosystems in arid zones.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Talent Cultivation Program of Xinjiang Institute of Biology and Geosciences.
Figure: Dew redistributes water into soil through the coupling process of foliar water uptake and hydraulic redistribution (dew contributed up to 28.3% of soil moisture near the roots). P. euphratica use the trunk and soil for water storage to cope with the water stress during short-term drought periods. (Image by Prof. HAO Xingming’s group)
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and
Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences