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Allocation mechanisms of non-structural carbohydrates of Robinia pseudoacacia L. seedlings in response to drought and waterlogging

Yang, B., Peng, C., Harrison, S. P., Wei, H., Wang, H., Zhu, Q. and Wang, M. (2018) Allocation mechanisms of non-structural carbohydrates of Robinia pseudoacacia L. seedlings in response to drought and waterlogging. Forests, 9 (12). 754. ISSN 1999-4907

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/f9120754


Climate change is likely to lead to an increased frequency of droughts and floods, both of which are implicated in large-scale carbon allocation and tree mortality worldwide. Non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) play an important role in tree survival under stress, but how NSC allocation changes in response to drought or waterlogging is still unclear. We measured soluble sugars (SS) and starch in leaves, twigs, stems and roots of Robinia pseudoacacia L. seedlings that had been subjected to a gradient in soil water availability from extreme drought to waterlogged conditions for a period of 30 days. Starch concentrations decreased and SS concentrations increased in tissues of R. pseudoacacia seedlings, such that the ratio of SS to starch showed a progressive increase under both drought and waterlogging stress. The strength of the response is asymmetric, with the largest increase occurring under extreme drought. While the increase in SS concentration in response to extreme drought is the largest in roots, the increase in the ratio of SS to starch is the largest in leaves. Individual components of SS showed different responses to drought and waterlogging across tissues: glucose concentrations increased significantly with drought in all tissues but showed little response to waterlogging in twigs and stems; sucrose and fructose concentrations showed marked increases in leaves and roots in response to drought but a greater response to drought and waterlogging in stems and twigs. These changes are broadly compatible with the roles of individual SS under conditions of water stress. While it is important to consider the role of NSC in buffering trees against mortality under stress, modelling this behaviour is unlikely to be successful unless it accounts for different responses within organs and the type of stress involved

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:81023


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