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Mycorrhizas and Drought Resistance of Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr. I. In Conditions of Nutrient Deficiency

Tarja Lehto
The New Phytologist
Vol. 122, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 661-668
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2557434
Page Count: 8
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Mycorrhizas and Drought Resistance of Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr. I. In Conditions of Nutrient Deficiency
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Abstract

Sitka spruce [Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.] seedlings either mycorrhizal with Paxillus involutus (Batsch) Fr. or non-mycorrhizal were either subjected to drought or watered adequately. Stomatal conductance, net photosynthetic rate and water potential were higher in well-watered mycorrhizal plants than in non-mycorrhizal plants, and the effect of mycorrhizal infection on photosynthesis was interpreted as both a stomatal effect and an effect on the photosynthetic apparatus. During the drought treatment, the mycorrhizal plants dried out their substrate sooner than the non-mycorrhizal plants, which were smaller, but their stomatal conductance, net photosynthetic rate and shoot water potential were similar to the non-mycorrhizal plants. A correlation between P concentration in the shoot and net photosynthetic rate was shown. The improved performance of the mycorrhizal seedlings was probably due to their better P and K nutrition and their more extensive root systems with mycelial strands.

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