Ecophysiological responses of Abies fabri seedlings to drought stress and nitrogen supply.Physiol Plant. 2010 Aug 01; 139(4):335-47.PP
Abies fabri (Mast.) Craib. (A. fabri) is an endemic and dominant species in typical subalpine dark coniferous forests distributed in mountainous regions of Western Sichuan, China. We investigated the ecophysiological responses of A. fabri seedlings to short-term experimental drought, nitrogen supply and their interaction. Drought stress was created by excluding natural precipitation with automatically controlled plastic roof that covered the seedlings. Nitrogen fertilization was applied weekly by spraying over seedlings ammonium nitrate solution (50 kg N ha(-1) year(-1)) during the growing season of 2009. The results showed that drought stress decreased leaf relative water content (RWC), whereas it caused marked increases in root mass ratio (RMR) and root/shoot mass ratio by 6.19 and 10.39%, respectively, as compared with the control. Drought stress increased malondialdehyde (MDA) content, electrolyte leakage, proline content, soluble sugars content and the activities of antioxidant enzymes, whereas nitrogen supply decreased MDA content, but enhanced activities of some antioxidant enzymes [especially peroxidase (POD)]. In the drought stressed plots, nitrogen supply increased RWC and decreased the content of MDA. The combination of drought stress and nitrogen supply also decreased the activities of antioxidant enzymes. These results indicated that the negative effects of drought stress on A. fabri seedlings might be alleviated by nitrogen supply.