Physiological changes in eucalyptus hybrids under different irrigation regimes

Jane Valadares, Nádia Figueiredo de Paula, Rinaldo Cesar de Paula


With the expansion of the cultivation of eucalyptus into areas with limited water resources, recommending genotypes which are tolerant to low water availability is important in order to maximize productivity under such conditions. The aim of this work therefore was to evaluate five hybrids of Eucalyptus grandis x E. urophylla (H1 to H5) subjected to four irrigation regimes in the greenhouse: daily (IR1), every two days (IR2), every four days (IR4) and every six days (IR6). The following characteristics were evaluated: photosynthetic rate (A), transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs), leaf water potential (Ψw), leaf relative water content, photochemical efficiency and chlorophyll content index. Evaluations of A, gs and E were carried out on two occasions: 1 - under stress, at the end of the interval between irrigations for each treatment; and 2 - in recovery, 48 h after irrigation for all plants in the experiment. On average, there was reduction of 25 and 40% in A values, 40 and 55% in gs, 15 and 22% in E, and 96 and 103% in Ψw respectively in those plants under regimes IR4 and IR6, compared to under IR1. Stomatal conductance had only partially recovered 48 h after irrigation, and due to being more sensitive, its changes are a good indication of water stress. Hybrid H3 is the most tolerant and H5 the most sensitive to a reduction in water availability in soil.


Water stress; Forest improvement; Physiological characteristics

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