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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 294 - 300

Effects of Different Soil Moisture Regimes on Leaf Area Index, Specific Leaf Area and Water use Efficiency in Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh) under Dry Climatic Conditions

M.H. Rad, M.H. Assare, M.H. Banakar and M. Soltani    

Abstract: Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh is one of the most important planted species in Iran, because of its fast growth and resistant to drought stress. Nonetheless, drought stress limited the suitable growth and decreases the pulp qualities and quantity. The aim of this study was to get information about the effects of drought stress on Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh behavior of morph-physiology characteristics. Changes in Leaf Area Index (LAI), Specific Leaf Area (SLA) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) of three-years old trees under three soil moisture regimes (100, 70 and 40% of field capacity) under lysimeteric conditions were studied. The trials were carried out during the years of 2006-2008 in Shahid Saduqi Desert Research Station of Yazd, Iran. Results showed that a significant reduction of soil moisture effects on the reduction of biomass production and leaf area index. Water use efficiency and specific leaf area significantly increased with increasing stress; however, not significant difference was observed between treatments of 70 and 40% of field capacity. Severe drought (40% of field capacity) reduced water use efficiency in wood production without any significant differences to 100% of field capacity treatment. This implied that a moderate level of drought stress improved water use efficiency in this species of eucalyptus in an arid climate. Severe drought stress induced a reduction in water use efficiency. Therefore, it can be concluded that appropriate growth of this species and an economic production of wood depends thoroughly on soil moisture content. As a result, severe drought stress will impair many morphological and physiological behaviors.

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