Gas Exchange and Growth of Two Transplanted, Field-grown Tree Species in an Arid Climate

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Gas exchange and growth of transplanted and nontransplanted, field-grown Norway maple (Acer platanoides L. `Schwedleri') and littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata Mill. `Greenspire') trees were investigated in an arid climate. In the spring of 1995, three trees of each species were moved with a tree spade to a new location within a field nursery and three nontransplanted trees were selected as controls. Predawn leaf water potential, morning-to-evening stomatal conductance and leaf temperature, leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference, midday stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate, and growth data were collected over a 2-year period. After transplanting, weekly predawn leaf water potential indicated that transplanted trees were under greater water stress than were nontransplanted (control) trees. However, predawn leaf water potential of maple trees recovered to control levels 18 weeks after transplanting, while that of transplanted linden trees remained more negative than that of controls. In 1995, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rates were lower throughout the day for transplanted trees. In 1996, gas exchange rates of transplanted maple trees recovered to near control levels while rates for transplanted linden trees did not. Sensitivity of stomata to leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference varied with species and with transplant treatment. Each year transplanted trees of both species had less apical growth than did control trees. Although gas exchange and apical growth of transplanted trees was reduced following transplanting, recovery of gas exchange to control rates differed with species.