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Chlorophyll fluorescence and growth responses of different dwarf bamboo species to drought stress

Guibin Gao, Zhizhuang Wu, Xing Wen, Zheke Zhong, Neng Li, Hao Zhong and Yanhong Pan

Physiological responses and changes in growth of dwarf bamboo under drought stress are essential for establishing an evidence-based management system to maintain soil moisture for optimal growth. In this study, the responses of chlorophyll fluorescence, moisture content, and biomass accumulation of nine dwarf bamboo species placed in a drought stress environment were investigated. The species with large leaves, such as Indocalamus decorus Q. H. Dai and Sasaella glabra (Nakai) Koidz. f. albo-striata Muroi, had higher initial photosynthetic efficiency indexes than species with small leaves, such as Sasa fortunei (Van Houtte ex Munro) Fiori and Sasa pygmaea (Miq.) Rehder, but their initial light protection indexes were lower. As drought stress increased, photosynthetic efficiency indexes of large-leaved bamboo species dropped more than those of small-leaved species. In contrast, light protection indexes of large-leaved bamboo species dropped less than those of small-leaved species. The average stem and rhizome moisture content of all the bamboo species decreased tardily. However, the average moisture content of the leaf and root decreased abruptly. The initial biomass accumulation ratios of the large-leaved bamboos were higher than those of the small-leaved species. As the drought stress increased, the biomass accumulation ratio of large-leaved bamboo species declined rapidly, even falling below that of the small-leaved species, which did not decline as much. In conclusion, the biomass productivity of small-leafed dwarf bamboo species was found to be higher than that of large-leaved species under prolonged drought stress.

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