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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 57, Number 1 (2014) Evaluation of Drought Tolerance in Five Native Caribbean Tree Species With Landscape Potential

Evaluation of Drought Tolerance in Five Native Caribbean Tree Species With Landscape Potential

Seedlings of five tree species native to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with potential for landscape plantings were grown in a greenhouse and subjected to three different watering intensities. We wanted to determine how fast nursery stock would reach an appropriate size for outplanting and how plant biomass would be allocated. Tree heights were measured weekly for 22 weeks, after which trees were harvested to determine root, stem, and leaf weights. All species survived under the different watering regimes but had different responses in both height growth and biomass allocation. Only one species, Andira inermis, when subjected to abundant watering reached outplanting height by the end of 22 weeks. Plumeria alba growth did not respond positively to increasing water and the soil’s lack of field capacity wasted excess water. In terms of biomass allocation A. inermis was plastic in the allocation of biomass by dedicating more biomass to roots while under water stress and dedicating more biomass to stem wood when watered at field capacity. Other species, in particular, Bucida bucera did not change biomass allocation in response to watering levels. The results indicate that U.S. Virgin Islands nursery managers can save water during growing of these species by controlling watering levels and still obtain marketable local trees.

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Author(s): Michael Morgan, Thomas W. Zimmerman

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volumes 57, Number 1 (2014)

Volume: 57

Number: 1

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