Effect of hydric and light stress on biomass, nutrient uptake and enzymatic antioxidants of Argania spinosa seedlings
Keywords:Argania spinosa, water stress, sunlight, macroelement uptake, shading
- In semi-arid ecosystems the success of a plantation of forest species such as Argania spinosa depends on the morphological and physiological qualities and the resistance capacity of seedlings to transplantation stress.
- The interactive effects of acclimatization of spinosa to water and light stress on biomass, nutrient uptake and antioxidant enzyme activities were evaluated in the nursery.
- Argan tree seedlings grown under 60% of sunlight showed a significant increase in total biomass, nutrient absorption and decreased enzyme activity.
- This indicates an ability to mitigate the adverse effects of water stress and effectively prevent stress caused by excess light.
Abstract: Sunlight and water are factors that affect seedling development. However, the effects of acclimatization of seedlings to sunlight and water stress remain poorly understood. This study aimed to examine the interactive effects of acclimatization to light and water stress on argan tree (Argania spinosa) seedlings in nurseries. An experiment was conducted with 504 seedlings using two sunlight treatments (L1 and L2, i.e. 100% and 60% of full sunlight, respectively), and three watering treatments (well-watered, moderate stress and severe stress, i.e. 100%, 50% and 25% of field capacity, respectively). According to our results, water stress treatments caused a reduction in total biomass accumulation, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake. Water stress significantly increased other macroelements, H2O2 and MDA levels and antioxidant enzyme activities compared to well-watered seedlings. Seedlings grown under moderate shade (L2) showed higher macroelement uptake, which probably contributed to the increase in total biomass in all water treatments. The highest membrane stability index (MSI) values, H2O2 and MDA levels and lowest antioxidant enzyme activities were recorded in acclimatized argan seedlings under moderate shading (L2). These results suggest that moderate shade can effectively prevent stress caused by light excess and can also mitigate the harmful effects of water stress on A. spinosa seedlings.
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