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Leaf and plant water use efficiency in cocksfoot and tall fescue accessions under differing soil water availability

Gulías, Javier and Seddaiu, Giovanna and Cifre, Josep and Salis, M. and Ledda, Luigi (2012) Leaf and plant water use efficiency in cocksfoot and tall fescue accessions under differing soil water availability. Crop Science, Vol. 52 (5), p. 2321-2331. eISSN 1435-0653. Article.

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DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2011.10.0579

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Abstract

Water availability is one of the most important limiting factors in plant production worldwide. Such limitation is expected to increase in regions with a Mediterranean climate type during the next few decades. The objectives of this study were to evaluate plant water use efficiency (WUE) in contrasting accessions of two perennial grasses, Dactylis glomerata L. (cocksfoot) and Festuca arundinacea Schreb. [syn. Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.] (tall fescue), under two different water availability regimes and to study the relationship with instantaneous and intrinsic leaf WUE. Six accessions of D. glomerata and five accessions of F. arundinacea were grown under well irrigated and progressive drought conditions. Plant biomass, water consumption, and gas exchange parameters were measured to estimate the plant and leaf WUE. Few differences in biomass accumulation and gas exchange parameters were observed among the accessions within both species. Plant WUE and total plant biomass accumulation were positively correlated in both species and water treatment. The leaf WUE parameters did not show a consistent relationship with the plant WUE in either species. In contrast, the stomatal conductance decreased as the plant WUE increased in water-limited D. glomerata, suggesting that stomatal conductance may be a good estimator of plant WUE under water deficit conditions.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:7997
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fescue, water stress, other grasses, crop physiology and metabolism, water use
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/02 Agronomia e coltivazioni erbacee
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Agraria
Publisher:Crop Science Society of America
eISSN:1435-0653
Deposited On:03 Oct 2012 10:55

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