Vulnerability to drought-induced cavitation in poplars : synthesis and future opportunities
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Plant, cell and environment. - Oxford
, p. 1233-1251
University of Antwerp
Vulnerability to drought-induced cavitation is a key trait of plant water relations. Here, we summarize the available literature on vulnerability to drought-induced cavitation in poplars (Populus spp.), a genus of agronomic, ecological and scientific importance. Vulnerability curves and vulnerability parameters (including the water potential inducing 50% loss in hydraulic conductivity, P50) were collected from 37 studies published between 1991 and 2014, covering a range of 10 species and 12 interspecific hybrid crosses. Results of our meta-analysis confirm that poplars are among the most vulnerable woody species to drought-induced cavitation (mean P50 = −1.44 and −1.55 MPa across pure species and hybrids, respectively). Yet, significant variation occurs among species (P50 range: 1.43 MPa) and among hybrid crosses (P50 range: 1.12 MPa), within species and hybrid crosses (max. P50 range reported: 0.8 MPa) as well as in response to environmental factors including nitrogen fertilization, irradiance, temperature and drought (max. P50 range reported: 0.75 MPa). Potential implications and gaps in knowledge are discussed in the context of poplar cultivation, species adaptation and climate modifications. We suggest that poplars represent a valuable model for studies on drought-induced cavitation, especially to elucidate the genetic and molecular basis of cavitation resistance in Angiosperms.