Print version ISSN 0103-9016
LIMA, Walter de Paula; JARVIS, Paul and RHIZOPOULOU, Sophia. Stomatal responses of Eucalyptus species to elevated CO2 concentration and drought stress. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2003, vol.60, n.2, pp. 231-238. ISSN 0103-9016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162003000200005.
Five species of Eucalyptus (E. grandis, E. urophylla, E. camaldulensis, E. torelliana, and E. phaeotrica), among the ten species most commonly used in large scale plantations, were selected for studies on the effects of elevated CO2 concentration [CO2] and drought stress on stomatal responses of 2.5-month old seedlings. The first three species belong to the subgenus Smphyomyrtus, whereas the fourth species belongs to the subgenus Corymbia and E. phaeotrica is from the subgenus Monocalyptus. Seedlings were grown in four pairs of open-top chambers, arranged to have 2 plants of each species in each chamber, with four replications in each of two CO2 concentrations: 350 ± 30 mmol mol-1 and 700 ± 30 mmol mol-1. After 100 days in the chambers, a series of gas exchange measurements were made. Half the plants in each chamber, one plant per species per chamber, were drought-stressed by withholding irrigation, while the remaining plants continued to be watered daily. Drought stress decreased stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration rates in all the species. The effect of drought stress on stomatal closure was similar in both [CO2]. The positive effects of elevated [CO2] on photosynthesis and water use efficiency were maintained longer during the stress period than under well-watered conditions. The photosynthetic rate of E. phaeotrica was higher even in the fourth day of the drought stress. Drought stress increased photoinhibition of photosynthesis, as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence, which varied among the species, as well as in relation to [CO2]. The results are in agreement with observed differences in stomatal responses between some eucalyptus species of the subgenera Symphyomyrtus and Monocalyptus.
Keywords : eucalyptus physiology; water use efficiency; drought tolerance; CO2 adaptation.