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Leaf gas exchange of droughted and irrigated banana cv. Williams (Musa spp.) growing in hot, arid conditions

Thomas, D. S. and Turner, D. W. (1998). Leaf gas exchange of droughted and irrigated banana cv. Williams (Musa spp.) growing in hot, arid conditions. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology,73(3):419-429.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Leaf gas exchange of droughted and irrigated banana cv. Williams (Musa spp.) growing in hot, arid conditions
Author Thomas, D. S.
Turner, D. W.
Journal Name Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Publication Date 1998
Volume Number 73
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1462-0316   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0031835322
Start Page 419
End Page 429
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Field of Research 070601 - Horticultural Crop Growth and Development
Abstract Leaf gas exchange (LGE) of banana plants cv. Williams growing in an arid tropical environment was measured on irrigated and droughted plants through an 8 d drying cycle and after re-irrigation. The relations between net photosynthesis (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (Et,) and internal C02 concentration (C¡) and climatic factors (photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), leaf temperature (Tl) and leaf-to-air vapour pressure difference (Δe) and plant and soil water status were explored. The highest Pn, of 23 δmol C02 m–2 s–1 and gs of 600 mmol m–2 s–1, occurred in early to mid morning but the highest Et, of 10 mmol H20 m–2 s–1, occurred in the early afternoon. Water deficit significantly (P≤0.05) reduced LGE when soil water potential (ψs) at 30 cm soil depth was less than -30 kPa. The ψs of irrigated plants was maintained above -20 kPa throughout the experiment. Water use efficiency was not significantly (P≤0.05) different between treatments. Nor was the relation between the difference between leaf and air temperature (Td) and Δe. A unique relation existed between Pn and gs that was common to both irrigated and droughted plants. Soil drought, and in irrigated plants diurnal variation in Δe and Ti, reduced Pn and gs. C, was positively correlated with both Pn and gs except when the plants had experienced more than 6 d of drought (ψs lower than -50 kPa) when the relations became non-significant (P≤0.05). After re-irrigation of the droughted plants these relations returned to being positive and statistically significant (P≤0.05). Measurements of leaf water potential using either volumetric or pressure techniques rarely showed differences between irrigated and droughted plants. This was despite a large reduction in Pn, Et and gs. Mature banana leaves folded their laminae to a greater extent, and for longer periods during the day, in droughted plants but we suggest leaf folding may be too variable over the diurnal period to be used as a plant-based indicator of water deficit. The youngest leaf emerged up to 40% faster during the night than the day suggesting that day temperatures were above the optimum for leaf elongation. Drought significantly (P≤0.05) reduced elongation of emerging leaves only when ψs was less than -65 kPa. In irrigated plants Pn was reduced whenever gs declined due to diurnal changes in the environment. ψs less than -30 kPa further reduced LGE in droughted plants but few associations with plant water status (either pressure or volume based measurements of leaf water status or plant morphology) could be linked with decreased LGE. We conclude that banana plants are well able to maintain their internal water status during drought and are sensitive to soil drying. Water status is maintained by reducing radiation load (leaf folding) and closing stornata. This is likely to bear strongly on the productivity of this crop in hot, arid environments.
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 20:05:32 CST by Anthony Hornby