Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Adaptation of Species of Centrosema to Water Stress

MM Ludlow, ACP Chu, RJ Clements and RG Kerslake

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 10(2) 119 - 130
Published: 1983


The responses to water stress of five accessions representing four species of the legume Centrosema from contrasting moisture environments were compared under controlled conditions with those of Macroptilium atropurpureum cv. Siratro, a species which avoids dehydration. Species of Centrosema were able to tolerate leaf water potentials as low as -8 to -12 MPa, and all showed osmotic and stomatal adjustment. However, they differed in the tolerance of their leaves to water stress and in the leaf water potential at which stomata were effectively closed. There was a strong positive relationship between water stress tolerance of leaves and the leaf water potential for effective stomatal closure, among the Centrosema accessions and Siratro. The results are consistent with the natural ecological distribution of the species and their behaviour in different moisture environments in northern and north-eastern Australia.

© CSIRO 1983

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