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Seasonal changes in leaf water characteristics of Eucalyptus tetrodonta and Terminalia ferdinandiana saplings in a northern Australian savanna

Prior, LD and Eamus, D (1999). Seasonal changes in leaf water characteristics of Eucalyptus tetrodonta and Terminalia ferdinandiana saplings in a northern Australian savanna. Australian Journal of Botany,47(4):587-599.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Seasonal changes in leaf water characteristics of Eucalyptus tetrodonta and Terminalia ferdinandiana saplings in a northern Australian savanna
Author Prior, LD
Eamus, D
Journal Name Australian Journal of Botany
Publication Date 1999
Volume Number 47
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0067 1924   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0032741080
Start Page 587
End Page 599
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication Melbourne
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The monsoonal areas of northern Australia experience extreme seasonal variations in rainfall, with an annual dry season of 7 months or more. Seasonal changes in leaf water relations were investigated for saplings of two tree species common in northern Australian savannas: Eucalyptus tetrodonta F.Muell, an evergreen, and Terminalia ferdinandiana Excell, which is deciduous. Saplings may experience more severe water stress than mature trees because their root systems are less extensive. This study found a positive correlation between pre-dawn leaf water potential and tree height during the dry season, but not during the wet season, for both E. tetrodonta and T. ferdinandiana trees. Pressure–volume curves were constructed for leaves of E. tetrodonta saplings at 2-monthly intervals throughout the year. Osmotic potential at full turgor decreased from a maximum of −1.33 MPa in February (wet season) to −2.25 MPa in October (late dry season), then increased to an intermediate value of −1.71 MPa in December (early wet season). Leaves of T. ferdinandiana saplings were compared in February (wet season) and April (end of wet season; before leaf senescence). Osmotic potential at full turgor decreased from −1.18 MPa in February to −1.39 MPa in April. The capacity for turgor maintenance was larger for E. tetrodonta than for T. ferdinandiana, with osmotic potential at full turgor and the turgor loss point, relative water content at the turgor loss point and the ratio of turgid weight to dry weight all lower in E. tetrodonta.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT98014   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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