Date of Award:

1993

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Plant, Soils, and Biometeorology

Advisor/Chair:

Larry A. Rupp

Abstract

Typically, dormant seedlings are transplanted when revegetating nonirrigated disturbed lands in order to prevent transplant shock triggered by water stress. Since dormant seedlings have to be used, this limits the duration of the transplant season. It may be possible to increase this limited season by inducing acclimation responses that would increase drought tolerance. Preconditioning actively growing seedlings to water stress prior to transplanting could induce acclimation responses such as solute accumulation and/or stomatal modulation.

Under greenhouse conditions, A. cana and A. intermedium seedlings were subjected to three water stress preconditioning treatments: a well watered control, one dry-down cycle, and three dry-down cycles. After conditioning, seedlings were either allowed to dry-down in their containers until leaf senescence, or were transplanted to disturbed land sites. Plant water potential components, relative water content, and leaf mortality were measured.

Immediately following treatments, water relations parameters of preconditioned seedlings were not markedly different from controls in either species. At the end of the final dry-down, water stress preconditioning had not induced active or passive solute accumulation, prolonged leaf survival when exposed to lethal drought conditions, or resulted in differences in transplant survival rates under the experimental conditions of this study.

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