Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (11): 1199-1207.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0114

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of dew on eco-physiological traits and leaf structures of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum grown under drought stress

Yu CEN1,2, Mei-Zhen LIU1,2,*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    and
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-05-03 Accepted:2017-10-16 Online:2017-11-10 Published:2017-11-10
  • Contact: Mei-Zhen LIU

Abstract:

Aims To investigate the effects of dew on plants, we conducted the experiment to determine the physiological characteristics and leaf structures of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum in response to increasing dew under drought stress.
Methods Four treatments (no dew, three times dew and five times dew per week under drought stress, and well-watering) were designed to examine leaf relative water content, water potential, net photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency, biomass, and leaf structures of L. chinensis and A. cristatum.
Important findings There was a significant increase in the relative water content and water potential by simulated dew increase for two plants species under drought stress (p < 0.05). For A. cristatum, simulated dew increase significantly enhanced the net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate of plants under drought stress (p < 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the stomatal conductance and transpiration rate for L. chinensis among treatments. Simulated dew increase improved the aboveground biomass and root biomass of two species. The ratio of yellow leaves to the total leaves was decreased by simulated dew increase for two species. Dew increase also protected leaf structures against the drought stress, suggesting that the dew increase can slow down the death process of leaves resulted from drought stress. Therefore, the study demonstrated that dew increased the available water for the leaves of L. chinensis and A. cristatum grown in the drought stress and thus had positive effects on the photosynthesis, water physiology and plant development.

Key words: dew, Leymus chinensis, Agropyron cristatum, leaf structure, drought stress

Fig. 1

Dynamics of temperature and humidity in and outside of the dark chamber during the experiment."

Fig. 2

Effects of dew increase on leave relative water content (RWC) of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum (mean ± SE). W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W5, simulated dew increase five times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew."

Fig. 3

Effects of dew increase on leaf water potential (Ψleaf) of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum (mean ± SE). W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W5, simulated dew increase five times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew"

Fig. 4

Effects of dew increase on photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), transpiration rate (Tr) and water use efficiency (WUE) of Leymus chinensis (●) and Agropyron cristatum (○) (mean ± SE). W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W5, simulated dew increase five times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew."

Fig. 5

Effects of dew increase on biomass of Leymus chinensis (A) and Agropyron cristatum (B) (mean ± SE). W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W5, simulated dew increase five times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew. Different lowercase letters indicate the difference is significant among the treatments at p < 0.05 level."

Fig. 6

Effects of dew increase on the ratio of yellow leaves to total leaves of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum (mean ± SE). W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W5, simulated dew increase five times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew. Diffferent lower case letters indicate the difference is significant among the treatments at p < 0.05 level."

Fig. 7

Effects of dew increase on leaf structures of Leymus chinensis and Agropyron cristatum. A, B and C were TEM micrographs of the leaf structures for Leymus chinensis at treatments of W, W0 and W3, respectively. D, E and F were TEM micrographs of the leaf structures for Agropyron cristatum at treatments of W, W0 and W3, respectively. W0, no dew under drought; W3, simulated dew increase three times a week under drought; W, well watering no simulated dew."

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