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Variabilité intraspécifique des stratégies adaptatives à la sécheresse d’une graminée pérenne (Dactylis glomerata L.) : les compromis fonctionnels des traits aériens et souterrains peuvent-ils expliciter le compromis entre potentiel de croissance et survie au stress ?

Abstract : Drought risk increases with climate change. Improving our understanding of the adaptive mechanisms of plants response to drought has thus become one of the major challenges of ecological and agronomical research. This work investigates the drought survival of a perennial herbaceous species (Dactylis glomerata L.) through the intraspecific variability of above and below ground traits expressed by fifteen native and cultivated populations originating from a large latitudinal gradient, from Scandinavia to Morocco. Population traits characterization across one year under optimal growth conditions showed phenological coordination of above ground traits associated with seasonal growth limitations according to the origins of the populations. The spring growth rhythm does not discriminate origins while the summer dormancy of Mediterranean population contrasts with the winter dormancy of Scandinavian populations. These results suggested a growth-dehydration stress survival trade-off. Although this trade-off was confirmed in summer (severe drought in Montpellier) and winter (severe frost in Norway), no correlation was found between an off-season (spring) drought stress survival and populations’ growth potential. The result invalidates the existence of a constant trade-off between stress survival and aerial growth potential. This apparent decoupling in cocksfoot could be considered to produce new cultivars with both high productivity and high drought tolerance, from existent intraspecific variability. A severe dehydration stress imposed on plants grown in short pots, limiting roots expansion, showed that Mediterranean populations survived better than temperate or Nordic populations. In association with a long tube experiment allowing full expression of roots development, this result revealed a functional trade-off between dehydration avoidance (water acquisition and growth maintenance) and dehydration tolerance (low growth and high drought survival) which could limit the combination of adaptive strategies in a single phenotype. This work contribute to improve our knowledge about functional trade-offs, few studied within species, that underpin plant response to drought stress.
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Pauline Bristiel. Variabilité intraspécifique des stratégies adaptatives à la sécheresse d’une graminée pérenne (Dactylis glomerata L.) : les compromis fonctionnels des traits aériens et souterrains peuvent-ils expliciter le compromis entre potentiel de croissance et survie au stress ?. Biologie végétale. Université Montpellier, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MONTT108⟩. ⟨tel-01705462⟩

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