Ecophysiology of Acer rubrum seedlings from contrasting hydrologic habitats: growth, gas exchange, tissue water relations, abscisic acid and carbon isotope discrimination

Tree Physiol. 2003 Aug;23(12):841-50. doi: 10.1093/treephys/23.12.841.


Eight red maple (Acer rubrum L.) provenances, four each from wet and dry sites, were grown under the same conditions and their physiological responses to soil water availability investigated. Under well-watered conditions, seedlings of wet-site provenances grew faster and had consistently higher net photosynthesis, leaf conductance, maximum carboxylation rate, maximum rate of coupled photosynthetic electron transport, apparent quantum use efficiency, light-saturated photosynthesis and dark respiration than seedlings of dry-site provenances. Under conditions of low soil water availability, only dry-site provenances responded with decreased osmotic potential at full hydration and at the turgor loss point; however, provenances from wet sites showed a smaller reduction in absolute growth rate, a greater reduction in gas exchange and a greater increase in abscisic acid concentrations than dry-site provenances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / physiology
  • Acer / growth & development
  • Acer / physiology*
  • Carbon Dioxide / physiology
  • Carbon Isotopes / metabolism
  • Photosynthesis / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Transpiration / physiology
  • Soil
  • Trees / growth & development
  • Trees / physiology*
  • Water / physiology


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Abscisic Acid