Going underground: soil hydraulic properties impacting maize responsiveness to water deficit

Koehler, T and Moser, D S and Botezatu, Á and Murugesan, T and Kaliamoorthy, S and Zarebanadkouki, M and Bienert, M D and Bienert, G P and Carminati, A and Kholová, J and Ahmed, M (2022) Going underground: soil hydraulic properties impacting maize responsiveness to water deficit. Plant and Soil, 478. pp. 43-58. ISSN 1573-5036

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License ["licenses_description_cc_attribution" not defined].

Download (2MB)


Purpose Although the coordination between stomatal closure and aboveground hydraulics has extensively been studied, our understanding of the impact of belowground hydraulics on stomatal regulation remains incomplete. Here, we investigated whether and how the water use of maize (Zea mays L.) varied under hydraulically contrasting soil textures. Our hypothesis is that a textural-specific drop in the hydraulic conductivity is associated with a distinct decrease in transpiration during soil drying. Methods Maize plants were grown in contrasting soil textures (sand, sandy loam, loam) and exposed to soil drying. We measured the relationships between transpiration rate, soil water content as well as soil and leaf water potential. We used a soil-plant hydraulic model to reproduce the experimental observations and infer the hydraulic conductance of the soil-plant system during soil drying. Results We observed the impact of soil texture on plant response to soil drying in various relationships. The soil water potentials at which transpiration decreased were more than one order of magnitude more negative in loam than in sand. The soil-plant conductance decreased not only abruptly but also at less negative soil water potentials in sand than in sandy loam or loam. Stomata closed at less negative leaf water potentials in sand than in loam. The model predictions matched well the experimental observations. Conclusion The results elucidated that the critical soil water content and potential at which plants close stomata depends on the soil texture. These findings support our plea to include soil properties for understanding and predicting stomatal regulation during soil drying.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Global Research Program - Accelerated Crop Improvement
Uncontrolled Keywords: Belowground hydraulics, Transpiration, Leaf water potential, Soil drying, Water stress
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Others > Maize
Others > Water Resources
Depositing User: Mr Nagaraju T
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2023 03:21
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 03:21
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/12287
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-0...
Acknowledgement: We kindly remark the whole ICRISAT Crop Physiology team for fundamental field work support and their expertise on the experimental procedures. We thank Dr. Gaochao Cai for the discussion of sensitivity analysis and prereviewing the manuscript. We also thank Maria König for sharing some data that she has obtained in the framework of her Master thesis. For ABA analysis and technical assistance, we thank Dr. Yudelsy Moya, Barbara Kettig, Dagmar Böhmert and Christine Bethmann (IPK Gatersleben).
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item