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Vantyghem, M; Merckx, R; Stevens, B; Hood-Nowotny, R; Swennen, R; Dercon, G.
(2022): The potential of stable carbon isotope ratios and leaf temperature as proxies for drought stress in banana under field conditions
AGR WATER MANAGE. 2022; 260, 107247 FullText FullText_BOKU

Drought stress is a major limiting factor for banana production and the incidence of drought spells is expected to increase with climate change. Climate smart practices and varieties are needed, but evaluation in the field is hampered by a lack of reliable physiological drought stress indicators. We investigated the potential of using stable carbon isotope ratios (813C) and leaf temperature and its derived DANS (Degrees above Non-Stressed Canopy) index as proxies for drought stress in banana. Leaf samples were taken for 813C analysis and leaf temperature was monitored throughout the day in a field trial with different banana plant stages (mother and daughter plants) under two irrigation treatments (rainfed and irrigated) during the dry season in Arusha, Tanzania. We found that 813C, leaf temperature and DANS were highly sensitive proxies for drought stress in banana. Soil volumetric water content had a significant effect on both 813C values and DANS. There was a significant difference in 813C (1.5 +/- 0.1%o, p < 0.01) and afternoon leaf temperature (7 +/- 1 C, p < 0.01) between the rainfed and irrigated treatment. To deal with variability in 813C within the leaf, we developed a banana tailored sampling method. This study also revealed the complexity of carbon isotope dynamics in the intertwined system of mother and daughter plants. Daughter plants had more negative 813C values (-1.9 +/- 0.1%o, p < 0.01) and lower temperatures (4 +/- 1 degrees C) than mother plants. This indicates less stress, but interpretation of the 813C ratio is complicated by the potential carbon flux from mother to daughter plant. Once we have a full understanding of these complexities within the plant, the 813C and leaf temperature based methods we developed, can be directly implemented for both mother and daughter plants under various field conditions.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Hood-Nowotny Rebecca
Vantyghem Mathilde

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
canopy temperature
infrared thermometry
sampling methods
water stress

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