Effects of NaCl on growth and physiology of Pinus leiophylla seedlings
Dedication To my wife Virginia Jacob Cervantes and To the memory of my father also To the memory of my aunts Marce and Guadalupe Abstract Identification of salt-resistant tree species and genotypes is needed for rehabilitation of lands affected by salinity in Mexico. This dissertation consists of four studies for analyzing the responses of Pinus leiophylla seedlings to salt. In the first study, resistance to salt stress was studied in six-month-old seedlings from eight different sources of seed
... collected from the areas with contrasting precipitation levels. Plants from the xeric areas were shorter and had smaller stem diameters but were less sensitive to salt stress and recovered faster from salt injury compared with the plants from mesic sites, suggesting that morphological and physiological adaptations to drought were helpful with salt stress resistance. In the second study, fascicle needle production and tissue ion accumulation were examined in NaCl-treated three-month-old seedlings from two populations of the xeric origin and two populations from the mesic areas. Seedlings from the xeric population of San Felipe developed fewer fascicles and had shorter needles compared with seedlings from the remaining three populations. NaCl treatment delayed the emergence of fascicles and reduced the fascicle needle production and needle length. However, the extent of needle injury and ion accumulation in shoots were lower in the San Felipe seedlings compared with the other studied populations. In the third study, the effects of branch pruning and seedling size on total transpiration and accumulation of Na + and Clin tissues were examined. Total plant transpiration, as affected by plant size and branch pruning, was correlated with Na + and Clneedle concentrations and needle necrosis. Branch pruning reduced ion accumulation in the shoots and needle necrosis levels in short seedlings but not in the tall seedlings. In the fourth study, sprouting and physiological responses of 16 month-old-seedling to salt were examined. NaCl treatment concentrations of 100, 150, and 200 mM reduced gas exchange and root hydraulic conductance, caused needle injury and triggered sprouting of adventitious shoots. Sprouting from the upper parts of the main stem and lateral branches was three times greater with 100 and 150 mM NaCl compared with 200 mM NaCl treatment but, at the base of the stem, sprout numbers were similar for all NaCl treatments.