Effects of Abiotic Stress on Tree Physiology and Ecology

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2023) | Viewed by 6397

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Plant Production and Technologies Department, Agriculture and Natural Sciences Faculty, Konya Food and Agriculture University, 42080 Konya, Turkey
Interests: plant stress physiology
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Guest Editor
Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: plant physiological ecology; modelling of environmental botany; stress physiology; stomatal conductance; photosynthesis; ozone; drought; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change, anthropogenic pollution and unsustainable management practices induce abiotic stresses that directly impact tree physiology in natural, urban and agricultural settings. An understanding of the impact of abiotic stress on tree physiology is central to the continued viability of forests and tree crop production. Climate change will result in increased drought, thermal stress, and fire frequency, as well as higher atmospheric carbon dioxide. Alongside these climatic shifts, increased exposure to ozone, over-grazing, and over-extraction of ground water will further negatively impact tree health. Native forests increasingly show signs of abiotic stress, while the production of fruit crops such as olive or nuts is imperiled by increased drought and temperature changes during flowering. The examination of urban trees can act as a laboratory to examine the likely impacts of rising temperatures, carbon dioxide, and water deficit on trees. Phenotyping through the examination of tree physiological responses to these stresses can provide a tool to identify varieties adapted to future growth conditions. An understanding of tree physiological response is vital to the mitigation of climate change and population growth effects on forests and tree crops.

This Special Issue examines the impact of abiotic stresses on tree physiology by focusing on gas exchange; chlorophyll fluorescence; remote sensing; hyperspectral monitoring; and metabolomic, antioxidant, epigenetic, genetic and anatomical responses to drought, heat stress, rising [CO2], atmospheric pollutants, salinity, and other abiotic stressors.

Dr. Dilek Killi
Dr. Yasutomo Hoshika
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • photosynthesis
  • drought
  • carbon dioxide
  • atmospheric pollution
  • urban forests
  • forest dieback

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3453 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Addition Alleviates Cadmium Toxicity in Eleocarpus glabripetalus Seedlings
by Meihua Liu, Mengjiao Shi, Haili Gao, Yu Zheng and Lita Yi
Forests 2023, 14(6), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14061264 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in soil is a serious form of heavy metal pollution affecting environmental safety and human health. In order to clarify the tolerance mechanisms to Cd-contaminated soils under N deposition, changes in plant growth, root architecture and physiological characteristics of Eleocarpus [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in soil is a serious form of heavy metal pollution affecting environmental safety and human health. In order to clarify the tolerance mechanisms to Cd-contaminated soils under N deposition, changes in plant growth, root architecture and physiological characteristics of Eleocarpus glabripetalus seedlings under combined nitrogen (N) and cadmium (Cd) treatments were determined in this study. The results indicated that Cd-induced negative effects inhibited the growth of E. glabripetalus seedlings through increased underground biomass allocation, and affected transpiration and respiratory processes, resulting in a decreased soluble sugars concentration in leaves and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in the roots. Root systems might play a major role in Cd absorption. Cd stress restricted the growth of fine roots (<0.5 mm), and affected the uptake of N and P. N addition alleviated the Cd-induced negative effect on plant growth through improving the root system, increasing starch and NSC contents in the roots and increasing total biomass. These findings have important implications for understanding the underlying tolerance mechanisms of Cd pollution under N deposition in arbor species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Tree Physiology and Ecology)
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17 pages, 3039 KiB  
Article
Exploring a New O3 Index as a Proxy for the Avoidance/Tolerance Capacity of Forest Species to Tolerate O3 Injury
by Jacopo Manzini, Yasutomo Hoshika, Barbara Baesso Moura and Elena Paoletti
Forests 2023, 14(5), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14050901 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a detrimental air pollutant causing phytotoxic effects. Several O3 indices are used to assess the risk for vegetation, e.g., the exposure-based AOT40 (accumulated ozone exposure over a threshold of 40 ppb) and the stomatal-flux based POD [...] Read more.
Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a detrimental air pollutant causing phytotoxic effects. Several O3 indices are used to assess the risk for vegetation, e.g., the exposure-based AOT40 (accumulated ozone exposure over a threshold of 40 ppb) and the stomatal-flux based POD1 (Phytotoxic Ozone Dose above a threshold of 1 nmol m−2 s−1). Leaf Mass per Area (LMA) is recommended as a simple index to explain the plant tolerance capacity to O3. We therefore tested a new species-specific O3 index (Leaf Index Flux—LIF: calculated as stomatal O3 flux/LMA) as a proxy of the avoidance/tolerance capacity against O3 stress according to datasets of visible foliar injury (VFI) in forest monitoring and a manipulative Free-Air Controlled Exposure (FACE) experiment. For the forest monitoring, AOT40, POD1, and LIF were calculated from hourly O3, soil moisture, and meteorological measurements at nine Italian forest sites over the period 2018–2022. The results were tested for correlation with the O3 VFI annually surveyed at the same sites along the forest edge (LESS) or inside the forest (ITP) and expressed as relative frequency of symptomatic species in the LESS (SS_LESS) and Plant Injury Index per tree in the plot (PII_ITP). Based on VFI occurrence at ITP and LESS, Fagus sylvatica was considered the most O3-sensitive species, whereas conifers (Pinus pinea and Picea abies) and other deciduous/evergreen broadleaf (Quercus petraea, Q. cerris, Q. ilex, and Phyllirea latifolia) showed rare and no O3 VFI. Shrub species such as Rubus spp. and Vaccinium myrtillus were O3-sensitive, as they showed VFI along the LESS. AOT40 did not show significant correlations with the VFI parameters, POD1 increased with increasing SS_LESS (p = 0.005, r = 0.37) and PII_ITP (p < 0.001, r = 0.53), and LIF showed an even higher correlation with SS%_LESS (p < 0.001, r = 0.63) and PII_ITP (p < 0.001, r = 0.87). In the FACE experiment, PII was investigated for five deciduous and three evergreen tree species following one growing season of exposure to ambient and above-ambient O3 levels (PII_FACE). Moreover, PII_FACE resulted better correlated with LIF (r = 0.67, p < 0.001) than with POD1 (r = 0.58, p = 0.003) and AOT40 (r = 0.35, p = 0.09). Therefore, LIF is recommended as a promising index for evaluating O3 VFI on forest woody species and stresses high O3 risk potential for forest species with high stomatal conductance and thin leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Tree Physiology and Ecology)
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17 pages, 2452 KiB  
Article
Abscisic Acid, Paclobutrazol, and Salicylic Acid Alleviate Salt Stress in Populus talassica × Populus euphratica by Modulating Plant Root Architecture, Photosynthesis, and the Antioxidant Defense System
by Mengxu Su, Min Zhang, Ying Liu and Zhanjiang Han
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111864 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
The exogenous plant growth regulators (PGRs) represent a useful strategy for reducing the adverse effects of salt stress in plants. In order to investigate the regulatory effect of exogenous PGRs on the salt tolerance of Populus talassica × Populus euphratica seedlings, in this [...] Read more.
The exogenous plant growth regulators (PGRs) represent a useful strategy for reducing the adverse effects of salt stress in plants. In order to investigate the regulatory effect of exogenous PGRs on the salt tolerance of Populus talassica × Populus euphratica seedlings, in this study, the effects of different foliar spray concentrations of ABA (5 mg·L−1, 15 mg·L−1, 25 mg·L−1), PP333 (300 mg·L−1, 900 mg·L−1, 1500 mg·L−1), and SA (40 mg·L−1, 120 mg·L−1, 200 mg·L−1) on P. talassica × P. euphratica seedlings under salt stress (soil salt concentration of 2%) were determined. The results showed that the dry weight, total root length, root surface area, root volume, total Chl content, and photosynthetic parameters of P. talassica × P. euphratica seedlings significantly decreased under salt stress and increased their contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anion (O2), free proline (Pro), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and peroxidase (POD). However, ABA, PP333, and SA can mitigate the adverse effects of salt stress on these indicators. Especially, the 15 mg·L−1 ABA, 900 mg·L−1 PP333, and 120 mg·L−1 SA treatments had the best effect on alleviating salt stress, with significant increases in dry weight, root parameters, total Chl content, and the photosynthetic parameters of the P. talassica × P. euphratica seedlings, improving their photosynthetic characteristics; meanwhile, increased Pro content and enzyme activity and decreased MDA, H2O2, and O2 content protected the integrity of membrane system and enhanced the salt tolerance of the seedlings. SA resulted in a better ameliorative effect on salt stress compared to ABA and PP333. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Tree Physiology and Ecology)
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16 pages, 3386 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Vitality Status of Plants: Using the Correlation between Stem Water Content and External Environmental Stress
by Hao Tian, Yandong Zhao, Chao Gao, Tao Xie, Tong Zheng and Chongchong Yu
Forests 2022, 13(8), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13081198 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
Plant vitality is an important indicator of plant health. Previous studies have often assessed plant vitality using related physiological parameters, but few studies have examined the effects of changes in plant vitality on stem water content (StWC), which can be measured online, in [...] Read more.
Plant vitality is an important indicator of plant health. Previous studies have often assessed plant vitality using related physiological parameters, but few studies have examined the effects of changes in plant vitality on stem water content (StWC), which can be measured online, in real time, and nondestructively using a novel fringing impedance sensor. In the present study, the sensor calibration results showed a linear fitting relationship between the sensor output voltage and StWC, with coefficients reaching 0.96. The coefficients of correlations between StWC and four plant physiological parameters related to plant vitality (net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and intercellular carbon dioxide concentration) were more than 0.8, indicating that StWC can be used to characterize plant vitality to a certain extent. A comparison between plants with normal vitality and weakened vitality showed that the self-regulation ability of plants gradually weakened as the plant vitality decreased, the diurnal mean of StWC lowered, and the diurnal range of StWC increased. In conclusion, StWC can be used as a new parameter to assess plant vitality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Tree Physiology and Ecology)
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