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Seasonal fog alleviates drought stress of rubber trees in Xishuangbanna

Seasonal fog eases drought stress of rubber trees in Xishuangbanna ---- Chinese Academy of Sciences

Rubber plantation in Xishuangbanna. Credit: XTBG

The importance of fog in forest ecosystems has been recognized and discussed for centuries. The extent to which the leaves of rubber plants net CO . can hold2 assimilation in the fog season is unknown.

In a study published in the Journal of HydrologyResearchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed carbon/water flux data from 2014-2016 in a mature rubber plantation in Xishuangbanna.

They compared the net ecosystem CO2 exchange, gross primary production, foliage evaporation, crop water productivity, foliage conductivity and transpiration rate under foggy and non-foggy days of cool, dry (November-February) and hot dry (March-April) seasons to reduce impact of fog on these carbon and water processes.

The analysis of three years of continuous observation showed that fog occurred for 42% of the total study period, with the majority occurring during the dry season, when temperatures were relatively low. The dense foggy days did not affect gross primary production, but reduced canopy evaporation.

In addition to low temperature, fog events were also associated with low vapor pressure deficit, atmospheric water potential, relative humidity, and frequent wet canopy conditions. Statistical analysis showed that physiological parameters were mainly regulated by the simultaneous changes of air temperature and vapor pressure deficit during cool, dry foggy days.

The study suggests that the occurrence of low fog would lead to increased demand for dry season groundwater in rubber plantations and reduce crop water ecosystem productivity.

“Our study highlights that during foggy days, the rubber plantation uses less water and thus increases crop water productivity. Therefore, the rubber farmers need to implement adaptive irrigation management systems based on canopy evaporation for better yields, especially during the dry season of the non-foggy season” , said Zhang Yiping of XTBG.


Increasing plant density tends to decrease water use efficiency in rubber trees


More information:
Palingamoorthy Gnanamoorthy et al, Seasonal fog increases crop water productivity in a tropical rubber plantation, Journal of Hydrology (2022). DOI: 10.116/j.jhydrol.2022.128016

Provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences


Quote: Seasonal fog eases drought stress from rubber trees in Xishuangbanna (2022, June 20) retrieved June 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-seasonal-fog-alleviates-drought-stress.html

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