Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Comparative Studies in Selected Species of Eucalyptus Used in Rehabilitation of the Northern Jarrah Forest, Western Australia. I. Patterns of Xylem Pressure Potential and Diffusive Resistance of Leaves

IJ Colquhoun, RW Ridge, DT Bell, WA Loneragan and J Kuo

Australian Journal of Botany 32(4) 367 - 373
Published: 1984


Land use which reduces tree canopy density and the impact of Phytophthora cinnamomi are believed to be altering the hydrological balance of parts of the northern jarrah forest, Western Australia. In the drier eastern zones of the forest, replacement plant communities must maintain the soil-salt-water balance to prevent significant increases in salinization of streams in water supply catchments. Daily and seasonal patterns of the diffusive resistance of leaves and xylem pressure potential were determined for the major natural dominant of the region, Eucalyptus marginata, and five other species of Eucalyptus used in rehabilitation.

Three types of daily and seasonal patterns were observed. E. marginata and E. calophylla exhibited little stomatal control of water loss, and leaf resistances remained low throughout the study period (type 1). E. maculata, E. resinifera and E. saligna exhibited marked stomatal regulation during summer days when xylem pressure potentials fell below -2.O MPa (type 2). E. wandoo (type 3) also controlled water loss but developed xylem pressure potentials far lower than all other species tested (<-3.0 MPa).

Although none of the species tested replicated the summer stomatal resistance and xylem pressure potential patterns of E. marginata, it is suggested that total annual water use should be examined before selecting the most appropriate species to rehabilitate disturbed sites in the eastern zones of the northern jarrah forest region.

© CSIRO 1984

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