Grant support

This work was supported by the Spanish Government [MICINN (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion), CGL2015-71360-P and PID2019-111159GB-C31], and by European Union's Horizon 2020 [H2020-MSCA-RISE-777803 GYPWORLD]. L.P. was funded by a fellowship FSE (Fondo Social Europeo)-Aragon 2014-2020 of the Gobierno de Aragon, Spain; J.P.F. was supported by Reference Group H09_20R (Gobierno de Aragon, Spain) and S.P. was supported by a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship [MICINN, RYC-2013-14164].

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Pedro Ferrio, Juan - Autor o Coautor
Publicaciones > Artículo

Disentangling water sources in a gypsum plant community. Gypsum crystallization water is a key source of water for shallow-rooted plants

Publicado en:Annals Of Botany. 129 (1): 87-99 - 2022-01-08 129(1), doi: 10.1093/aob/mcab107

Pedro Ferrio, Juan;


Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón - Entidad de origen
CGL2015-71360-PPID2019-111159GB-C31 Ramon y Cajal Fellowship [MICINN] - Financiador
CGL2015-71360-PPID2019-111159GB-C31 Spanish Government [MICINN (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion)] - Financiador
CSIC, Dept Biodiversidad & Restaurac, Inst Pirena Ecol, Ave Nuestra Senora de la Victoria 16, ES-22700 Jaca, Spain - Autor o Coautor
Ctr Invest & Tecnol Agroalimentaria Aragon CITA, Unidad Recursos Forestales, Av Montanana 930, ES-50059 Zaragoza, Spain - Autor o Coautor
H09_20R fellowship FSE (Fondo Social Europeo)-Aragon 2014-2020 of the Gobierno de Aragon, Spain - Financiador
H2020-MSCA-RISE-777803 GYPWORLD European Union - Financiador
RYC-2013-14164 Gobierno de Aragon, Spain - Financiador
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Resúmen: Background and Aims Gypsum drylands are widespread worldwide. In these arid ecosystems, the ability of different species to access different water sources during drought is a key determining factor of the composition of plant communities. Gypsum crystallization water could be a relevant source of water for shallow-rooted plants, but the segregation in the use of this source of water among plants remains unexplored. We analysed the principal water sources used by 20 species living in a gypsum hilltop, the effect of rooting depth and gypsum affinity, and the interaction of the plants with the soil beneath them.Methods We characterized the water stable isotope composition, delta H-2 and delta O-18, of plant xylem water and related it to the free and gypsum crystallization water extracted from different depths throughout the soil profile and the groundwater, in both spring and summer. Bayesian isotope mixing models were used to estimate the contribution of water sources to plant xylem sap.Key Results In spring, all species used free water from the top soil as the main source. In summer, there was segregation in water sources used by different species depending on their rooting depth, but not on their gypsum affinity. Gypsum crystallization water was the main source for most shallow-rooted species, whereas free water from 50 to 100 cm depth was the main source for deep-rooted species. We detected plant-soil interactions in spring, and indirect evidence of possible hydraulic lift by deep-rooted species in summer.Conclusions Plants coexisting in gypsum communities segregate their hydrological niches according to their rooting depth. Crystallization water of gypsum represents an unaccounted for, vital source for most of the shallow-rooted species growing on gypsum drylands. Thus, crystallization water helps shallow-rooted species to endure arid conditions, which eventually accounts for the maintenance of high biodiversity in these specialized ecosystems.

Palabras clave: drought; gypsum affinity; gypsum crystallization water; hydrological niche; plant community; root depth; water sources; Drought; Extraction; Functional differences; Gypsum affinity; Gypsum crystallization water; Hydraulic lift; Hydrogen; Hydrological niche; Patterns; Plant community; Rain-forest; Rock; Root depth; Soil-moisture; Stable-isotopes; Trees; Water sources; Water stable isotopes

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