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Effects of drought and tapping for latex production on water relations of Hevea brasiliensis trees

Kunjet S., Thaler P., Gay F., Chuntuma P., Sangkhasila K., Kasemsap P.. 2013. Kasetsart Journal. Natural Sciences, 47 (4) : p. 506-515.

The impact of drought conditions on the water relations of rubber trees is important because the trees could shed leaves while they are being continuously tapped. The aim of this work was to study the effect of soil drought and the tapping of latex on the water relations of rubber trees. This study distinguished between untapped trees and trees affected by tapping activity. The experiment was conducted on 14-15 year-old rubber trees from the clone, RRIM 600, at the Chachoengsao Rubber Research Center (CRRC). Climatic measurement, soil water content, predawn and midday leaf water potential, stand transpiration and percentage loss of hydraulic conductivity (PLC) were measured from January 2009 to January 2010, especially in the dry season. Under drought conditions, during the rainy season, stand transpiration and predawn leaf water potential decreased in response to soil drought in August. The midday leaf water potential and PLC did not change following soil water stress. In the dry season, the plant water status was related to climatic variables and soil drought. The results indicated that drought induces a reduction in the plant water status of rubber trees. Tapping activity did not have a marked infl uence on the water balance of the rubber trees. However, tapping reduced the sap fl ux density and stomatal conductance; thus, attention must be paid to tapping in the dry season, particularly in dry areas. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; thaïlande

Thématique : Culture des plantes; Physiologie et biochimie végétales; Météorologie et climatologie

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