Effects of drought frequency on growth performance and transpiration of young black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.)
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a drought-tolerant fast growing tree, which could be an alternative to the more common tree species used in short-rotation coppice on marginal land. The plasticity of black locust in the form of ecophysiological and morphological adaptations to drought is an important precondition for its successful growth in such areas. However, adaptation to drought stress is detrimental to primary production. Furthermore, the soil water availability condition of the initial stage of development may have an impact on the tree resilience. We aimed to investigate the effect of drought stress applied during the resprouting on the drought tolerance of the plant, by examining the black locust growth patterns. We exposed young trees in lysimeters to different cycles of drought. The drought memory affected the plant growth performance and its drought tolerance: the plants resprouting under drought conditions were more drought tolerant than the well-watered ones. Black locust tolerates drastic soil water availability variations without altering its water use efficiency (2.57 g L−1), evaluated under drought stress. Due to its constant water use efficiency and the high phenotypic plasticity, black locust could become an important species to be cultivated on marginal land.
Mantovani, D., Veste, M., Freese, D. (2014): Effects of drought frequency on growth performance and transpiration of young black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). International Journal of Forestry Research, 2014, Article ID 821891: 11 pages.