Wood Anatomical Structure of Rhododendron arboreum Sm. in a Drought Manipulated Experiment under two Forest Types in Western Bhutan Himalayas

 

Dorji Dukpa1, Om Katel2, and Yeshey Khandu2

 

https://doi.org/10.17102/cnr.2017.01

 

Abstract

 

Formation of woody structure in plant is a dynamic process and is affected by environmental conditions such as moisture availability. This experiment set up tested the hypothesis that drought leads to changes in wood anatomical characteristics, accompanied by decreased vessel size that is compensated by increased vessel density in Rhododendron arboreum Sm. The study was carried out in a cool temperate broadleaved forest dominated by oak species (Quercus lanata Sm., Quercus griffithii Hook. f. and Thomson ex Miq. and in a cool temperate conifer forest dominated by hemlock – Tsuga dumosa (D. Don) Eichler. R. arboreum wood samples were collected from four homogeneous replicated plots of 725 m2 (two  control and two roofed plots) established in 2014 at each forest type. The wood samples were sliced to 20 µm thickness using microtome, dehydrated using different concentration of ethanol before embedding them onto a glass slide. Micro section image was captured using digital camera and analysed using the software ImageJ32. Drought did not impact wood anatomical characteristics and did not lead to a decrease in vessel size. However, drought led to increased vessel density in both the forest types. At the same time, potential seepage of lateral interflow and leakage from roof may have impacted results and therefore further investigations applying deeper trenching against interflow and good roofing over an extended period are recommended to confirm this present finding.

 

Keywords: Control plot, roofed plot, vessel density, vessel size, wood structure

 

Full Text

PDF/HTML

 

References

 

Arend, M. and Fromm, J. (2007). Seasonal change in the drought response of wood cell development in poplar. Tree Physiology, 27: 985-992.

Baas, P. (1973). The wood anatomical range in llex (Aquifoliaceae) and its ecological and phylogenetic significance. Blumea, 21: 193-258. DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.1979.tb00329.x.

Baas, P. (1982). Systematic, phylogenetic, and ecological wood anatomy-History and perspectives. In P. Baas, ed., New Perspectives in wood Anatomy. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk, The Hague, 23-58.

Bouriadud, O., Leban, J.M., Bert, D. and Deleuze, D. (2005). Intra-annual variations in climate influence growth and wood density of Norway spruce. Tree Physiology, 25: 651-660.

Breda, N., Huc, R., Granier, A., and Dreyer, E. (2006).  Temperate forest trees and stands under severe drought: a review of ecophysiological responses, adaptation processes and long- term consequences. Annals of Forest Science, 63: 625-644. DOI: 10.1051/forest:2006042.

Carnicer, J., Coll, M., Ninyerola, M., Pons, X., Sanchez, G., and Penuelas, J. (2011). Widespread crown condition decline, food web disruption, and amplified tree mortality with increased climate change-type drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108: 1474-1478.

Catchpoole, S.J., Downes, G., and Read, S.M. (2000). The effect of salt on wood and fibre formation in eucalyptus. Report No. UM-18A. Rural Industrials Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, pp.55.

Chaves, M.M., Maroco, J.P., and Pereira, J.S. (2003). Understanding plant responses to drought—from genes to the whole plant. Functional plant biology, 30: 239-264. · DOI: 10.1071/FP02076.

Corcuera, L., Camarero, J.J., and Gil-Pelegrin, E. (2004). Effects of a severe drought on growth      and wood anatomical properties of Quercus ilex radial growth and xylem anatomy. Trees, 18: 83-92.

Davis, S.D., Sperry, J.S., and Hacke, U.G. (1999). The relationship between xyelm conduit diameter and cavitation cause by freezing. American Journal of Botany, 86(10): 1367-1372.

Downes, G.M., Wimmer, R. and Evans, R. (2002). Understanding wood formation: gains to commercial forestry through tree-ring research. Dendrochronologia, 20(1-2): 37-51. doi.org/10.1078/1125-7865-00006.

Dünisch, O. and Bauch, J. (1994). Influence of mineral elements on wood formation of old growth spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). Holzforschung, 48: 5–14. doi.org/10.1515/hfsg.1994.48.s1.5.

Edlin, H.L. (1975). Guide book on Tree planting and cultivation. Printed in Great Britain. Collins Clear-Type Press. London and Glassgow.

Eilmann, B., Weber, P., Rigling, A., and Eckstein, D. (2006). Growth reactions of Pinus sylvestris L. and Quercus pubescens Willd. to drought years at a xeric site in Valais, Switzerland. Dendrochronologia, 23: 121-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2005.10.002.

Floret, C., Gal, M.J., Lefloc’h, E., Orshan, E. and Romane, F. (1990). Growth forms and phenomorphology traits along an environmental gradient: tools for studying vegetation? Journal of Vegetation Science, 1: 71–80. DOI: 10.2307/3236055.

Fonti, P., Heller, O., Cherubini, P., Rigling, A. and Arend, M. (2012). Wood anatomical response of oak saplings exposed to air warming and soil drought. Plant Biology, 1-10. DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2012.00599.x.

Garcı´a-Gonza´lez, I. and Eckstein, D. (2003). Climatic signal of earlywood vessels of oak on a maritime site. Tree Physiology, 23: 497–504.

Gimbel, K.F., Felsmann, K., Baudis, M., Puhlmann, H., Gessler, A., Bruelheide, H., Kayler, Z., Ellerbrock, R.H., Ulrich, A., Welk, E. and Weiler, M. (2015). Drought in forest understory ecosystems-a novel rainfall reduction experiment. Biogeosciences, 12(14): 961-975. doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-961-2015.

Gratzer, G., Rai, P.B., Darabant, A., Chettri, P.B., Ottoeckmullner, and Glatzel, G. (2004). Leaf characteristics and growth response to light of under story Rhododendron hodgsonii in Bhutan Himalayas. Ekologia, 26(3): 283-297.

Hacke, U., and Sauter, J.J. (1996). Drought-induced xylem dyfunction in petioles, branches, and roots of Populus balsamifera L. and Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. Plant Physiology, 111: 413-417.

IPCC. (2007). Climate change 2007-the physical science basis: Working group I contribution to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press.

Komatsu, H., Tanaka, N. and Kume, T. (2007). Do coniferous forests evaporate more water than broad-leaved forests in Japan? Journal of Hydrology, 336: 361-375.

Kuraji, K. (2003). Effects of forest on stabilizing runoff. Nihon Chisan-chisui Kyokai, Tokyo.

Lo Gullo, M.A., Salleo, S., Piaceri, E.C. and Rosso, R. (1995). Relations between vulnerability to xylem embolism and xylem conduit dimensions in young trees of Quercus cerris.           Plant, Cell and Environment, 18: 661-669. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.1995.tb00567.x.

Macfarlance, C. and Adams, M.A. (1998). §13 C of wood in growth rings indicates cambial activity of drought stressed trees of Eucalyptus. Functional Ecology, 12: 655-664. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.1998.00230.x.

Maherali, H., and DeLucia, E.H. (2000). Xylem conductivity and vulnerability to cavitation of ponderosa pine growing in contrasting climates. Tree Physiology, 20: 859-867.

McDowell, N., Pockman, W.T., Allen, C.D., Breshears, D.D., Cobb, N., Kolb, T., Plaut, J., Sperry, J., West, A., Williams, D.G. and Yepez, E.A. (2008). Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought? New Phytologist, 178: 719-739. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02436.x.

Merev, N. and Yavuz, H. (2000). Ecological wood anatomy of Turkish Rhododendron L. (Ericaceae) intraspecific variation. Turkish Jounal of Botany, 24: 227-237.

NEC. (2011). Second National Communication from Bhutan to the UNFCCC. Thimphu, National Environment Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan: 160.

Noshiro, A., Joshi, L. and Suzuki, M. (1994). Ecological wood anatomy of Alnus nepalense (Betulaceae) in East Nepal. Journal of Plant Research, 107: 399-408.

Noshiro, S. and Suzuki, M. (1995). Ecological wood anatomy of Nepalese Rhododendron (Ericaceae), 2. Intraspecific variation. Journal of Plant Research, 108: 217-233.

Noshiro, S., Suzuki, M. and Ohba, H. (1995). Ecological wood anatomy of Nepalese Rhododendron (Ericaceae). 1. Intraspecific variation. Journal of Plant Research, 108: 1-9.

Oever, Lvd., Baas, P. and Zandee, M. (1981). Comparative wood anatomy of Symplocos and latitude and altitude of provenance. International Association of Wood Anatomists, 2: 3-24. DOI: 10.1163/22941932-90000389.

Om, K. (2016). Hydrological characterization of two mountain forest ecosystems in Bhutan. MSc. Thesis. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Orshan, G. (1988). Plant pheno-morphological studies in Mediterranean type ecosystems. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherland. DOI.10.1007/978-94-010-7897-9.

Puech, L., Türk, S., Hodson, J. and Fink, S. (2000). Wood formation in hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. Ĺ~ Populus tremuloides Michx.) grown under different nitrogen regimes. In Cell and Molecular Biology of Wood Formation. Eds. R.A. Savidge, J.R. Barnett and R. Napier. BIOS Scientific Publishers, Oxford, U.K., pp.141–154.

Searson, M.J., Thomas, D.S., Montagu, K.D., and Conroy, J.P. (2004). Wood density and anatomy of water-limited eucalypts. Tree Physiology, 24: 1295-1302.

Sperry, J.S., and Saliendra, N.Z. (1994). Intra and inter-plant variation in xylem cavitation in Betula occidentalis. Plant, Cell and Environment, 17: 1233-1241. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.1994.tb02021.x.

Sperry, J.S., and Tyree, M.T. (1988). Mechanism of water stress induced xylem embolism. Plant Physiology, 88: 581-587.

Tsukamoto, Y. (1998). Conservation of forest, water, and soil. Asakura, Tokyo.

Villar-Salvador, P., Castro Deez, P., Perez Rontom, C. and Montserrat Marte, G. (1997). Stem xylem features in three Quercus (Fagaceae) species along a climatic gradient in NE                 Spain, Trees, 12: 90–96.

Wangda, P. and Ohsawa, M. (2006). Gradational forest change along the climatically dry valley slopes of Bhutan in the midst of humid eastern Himalaya. Plant Ecology, 186(1): 109-128. DOI 10.1007/s11258-006-9116-5.

Wangdi, N. (2016). Drought stress tolerance and climate change adaptation potentials of main forest types in Bhutan. PhD Thesis. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Wimmer, R., Downes, G. and Evans, R. (2002). High-resolution analysis of radial growth and wood density in Eucalyptus nitens, grown under different irrigation regimes. Annals of Forest Science, 59: 519-524. DOI: 10.1051/forest:2002036.

Zhang, X., Deng, L. and Baas, P. (1988). The ecological wood anatomy of the lilacs (Syringa oblata var. giraldii) on Mount Taibei in northwestern China. International Association of Wood Anatomists, 9: 24-30. DOI: 10.1163/22941932-90000462.