Resource-use efficiency and drought tolerance in adjacent Great Basin and Sierran plants

E. J. Delucia, W. H. Schlesinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Differences in the physiological responses to resource availability were more clearly evident between growth forms, trees vs. shrubs, than between vegetation types, montane vs. desert. The shrubs (Amelanchier alnifolia, Arctostaphylos patula, Artemisia tridentata) maintained higher rates of net photosynthesis at lower predawn water potential but had lower water use efficiency (WUE) than the trees (Juniperus osteosperma, Pinus monophylla, P. jeffreyi, P. ponderosa). Photosynthetic nitrogen-use (PNUE) was highest in the shrubs that also had the highest foliage N content, and PNUE was inversely related to WUE, but trees had higher nutrient retranslocation efficiency and growth-based NUE than shrubs. Low WUE and high drought tolerance of shrubs suggests that maintaining high WUE under competitive water-limited conditions may not be advantageous. Conservative use of water (high WUE) and high growth based NUE by trees lengthens the season of net carbon assimilation and more closely matches growth with low rates of nutrient availability on nutrient-poor sites. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalEcology
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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water use efficiency
resource use
drought tolerance
shrub
shrubs
tolerance
drought
basins
basin
Arctostaphylos patula
Pinus monophylla
Amelanchier alnifolia
Juniperus osteosperma
Pinus jeffreyi
Artemisia tridentata
nutrient
nitrogen
Pinus ponderosa
nutrients
growth form

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Resource-use efficiency and drought tolerance in adjacent Great Basin and Sierran plants. / Delucia, E. J.; Schlesinger, W. H.

In: Ecology, Vol. 72, No. 1, 01.01.1991, p. 51-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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