Gas exchange parameters of 8-year-old Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. seedlings under different irrigation regimes




Abies fraseri, Intrinsic water use efficiency, Net photosynthetic rate, Stomatal conductance


Eight-year-old Abies fraseri seedlings were grown under different irrigation regimes to determine how drought stress might affect the seedlings in terms of gas exchange parameters. In this study, net photosynthesis (Anet), transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), intercellular CO2 (Ci), Ci to ambient CO2 (Ca) concentration ratio (Ci/Ca), intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), and water use efficiency (WUE) were measured on August 11 and 27. Irrigation and measurement time were statistically significant on all gas exchange parameters except WUE for irrigation and measurement time and Anet for measurement time. E and gs were significant under the irrigation and measurement time interactions. In this study, increasing irrigation generally decreased Anet, and gs, while increased E, iWUE, and Ci/Ca. On August 27, A. fraseri had higher Anet, gs, E, Ci, Ci/Ca, and lower iWUE values than August 11. However, there was a robust positive correlation between gs and Anet, while a negative correlation between gs and iWUE in A. fraseri seedlings. In general, prolonged water deficiency leads plants to decrease Anet, gs, and E while iWUE increases, contrary to the current study. A well-developed and deeper root system, especially in plants under less or no-irrigation regimes, may alleviate drought stress effects in the long run and provide an advantage in leaf gas exchange parameters. In addition, the fact that soil moisture did not differ much between treatments, although irrigation levels were different, may explain the similar behavior among individuals measured in terms of gas exchange parameters.


Belmecheri S. Maxwell RS. Taylor AH. Davis KJ. Guerrieri R. Moore DJ. Rayback SA. 2021. Precipitation alters the CO2 effect on water-use efficiency of temperate forests. Global Change Biology, 27(8): 1560-1571.

Brodribb TJ. McAdam SA. 2013. Abscisic acid mediates a divergence in the drought response of two conifers. Plant Physiology, 162(3): 1370-1377.

Canturk U. Kulaç Ş. 2021. The effects of climate change scenarios on Tilia ssp. in Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193: 771.

Comstock JP. 2002. Hydraulic and chemical signaling in the control of stomatal conductance and transpiration. Journal of Experimental Botany, 53(367): 195-200.

Cory ST. Wood LK. Neufeld HS. 2017. Phenology and growth responses of Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) Christmas trees along an elevational gradient, southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 243: 25-32.

Cregg BM. 2016. Choosing the right Christmas tree: Abies balsamea., Accessed 01.08.2018.

Cregg BM. O‘Donnel J. 2020. Real Christmas trees: Which one is right for you., Accessed 19. 04. 2021.

Dayer S. Herrera JC. Dai Z. Burlett R. Lamarque LJ. Delzon S. Bortolami G. Cochard H. Gambetta GA. 2020. The sequence and thresholds of leaf hydraulic traits underlying grapevine varietal differences in drought tolerance. Journal of Experimental Botany, 71(14): 4333-4344.

de Miguel M. Sánchez-Gómez D. Cervera MT. Aranda I. 2012. Functional and genetic characterization of gas exchange and intrinsic water use efficiency in a full-sib family of Pinus pinaster Ait. in response to drought. Tree Physiology, 32(1): 94-103.

Demir T. Mutlu E. Aydın S. & Gültepe N. 2021. Physicochemical water quality of Karabel, Çaltı, and Tohma brooks and blood biochemical parameters of Barbus plebejus fish: assessment of heavy metal concentrations for potential health risks. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193(11): 1-15.

Ding Y. Schiestl-Aalto P. Helmisaari HS. Makita N. Ryhti K. Kulmala L. 2020. Temperature and moisture dependence of daily growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) roots in Southern Finland. Tree Physiology, 40(2): 272-283.

Emin N. Mutlu E. & Güzel AE. 2020. Determination the effectiveness of the cytotoxic analysis on the water quality assessments. Turkish Journal of Agriculture-Food Science and Technology, 8(2): 478-483.

Ertugrul M. Varol T. Ozel HB. Cetin M. & Sevik H. 2021. Influence of climatic factor of changes in forest fire danger and fire season length in Turkey. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(1): 1-17.

Guo Q. Li X. Niu L. Jameson PE. Zhou W. 2021. Transcription-associated metabolomic adjustments in maize occur during combined drought and cold stress. Plant Physiol.

Hart J. O'Keefe K. Augustine SP. McCulloh KA. 2020. Physiological responses of germinant Pinus palustris and P. taeda seedlings to water stress and the significance of the grass-stage. Forest Ecology and Management, 458: 117647.

Hsu P.-K. Dubeaux G. Takahashi Y. Schroeder JI. 2021. Signaling mechanisms in abscisic acid-mediated stomatal closure. Plant Journal, 105: 307–321.

IPCC 2021. Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.

Isinkaralar K. Koç İ. Erdem R. Sevik H. 2022. Atmospheric Cd, Cr, and Zn deposition in several landscape plants in Mersin, Türkiye. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 233(4): 65-76.

Jatav KS. Agarwal RM. Sing RP. Shrivastava, M. 2021. Growth and yield responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to suboptimal water supply and different potassium doses. Journal of Functional and Environmental Botany, 2(1):39–51.

Katul GG. Manzoni S. Palmroth S. Oren R. 2010. A stomatal optimization theory to describe the effects of atmospheric CO2 on leaf photosynthesis and transpiration. Annals of Botany, 105: 431–442.

Key K. Kulaç Ş. Koç İ. Sevik H. 2022. Determining the 180-year change of Cd, Fe, and Al concentrations in the air by using annual rings of Corylus colurna L. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 233(7): 1-13,

Kilicoglu C. Cetin M. Aricak B. & Sevik H. 2021. Integrating multicriteria decision-making analysis for a GIS-based settlement area in the district of Atakum, Samsun, Turkey. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 143(1): 379-388.

Koç İ. 2022. Comparison of the gas exchange parameters of two maple species (Acer negundo and Acer pseudoplatanus) seedlings under drought stress. Journal of Bartin Faculty of Forestry, 24(1): 65-76.

Koç İ. 2019. Conifers Response to Water Stress: Physiological Responses and Effects on Nutrient Use Physiology. Doctoral Thesis, Michigan State University.

Koç İ. 2021a. Using Cedrus atlantica‘s annual rings as a biomonitor in observing the changes of Ni and Co concentrations in the atmosphere, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1-7. Doi:10.1007/s11356-021-13272-3

Koç İ. 2021b. Examining seed germination rate and seedlings gas exchange performances of some Turkish red pine provenances under water stress. Düzce University Journal of Science & Technology, 9(8): 1545-1554.

Koç İ. 2021c. Examination of gas exchange parameters of Abies balsamea (L). Mill. and Abies concolor saplings, grown under various water regime, exposed to extreme drought stress at the end of the growing season. Turkish Journal of Forest Science, 5(2): 592-605.

Koç İ. Cantürk U. Çobanoğlu H. 2022. Changes of plant nutrients K and Mg in several plants based on traffic density and organs. Kastamonu University Journal of Engineering and Sciences, 8(1): 54-59.

Koc I. Nzokou P. 2018. Effects of water stress and cold treatments on the germination of two conifers (Pinus nigra and Pinus brutia) species from Turkey. Hortscience, 53(9): 259-259.

Koç İ. Nzokou P. 2022. Do various conifers respond differently to water stress? A comparative study of white pine, concolor and balsam fir. Kastamonu University Journal of Forest Faculty, 22(1): 1-16.

Koç İ. Nzokou P. Cregg B. 2021. Biomass allocation and nutrient use efficiency in response to water stress: Insight from experimental manipulation of balsam fir, concolor fir and white pine transplants. New Forests, 1-9.

Kulaç Ş. Nzokou P. Guney D. Cregg BM. Turna, I. 2012. Growth and physiological response of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.] seedlings to water stress: seasonal and diurnal variations in photosynthetic pigments and carbohydrate concentration. HortScience, 47(10): 1512-1519.

Kutlu B. & Mutlu E. 2021. Multivariate statistical evaluation of dissolved trace elements and water quality assessment in the Karaca dam, Turkey. EQA-International Journal of Environmental Quality, 44:26-31.

Lambers H. Chapin III FS. Pons TL. 2008. Plant physiological ecology. Springer Science & Business Media. New York, NY, USA.

Landsberg J. Sands P. 2011. Physiological ecology of forest production: principles, processes and models. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.

Laxa M. Liebthal M. Telman W. Chibani K. Dietz K-J. 2019. The role of the plant antioxidant system in drought tolerance. Antioxidants, 8: 94.

Li P. Zhu Y. Song X. Song F. 2020. Negative effects of long-term moderate salinity and short-term drought stress on the photosynthetic performance of Hybrid Pennisetum. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 155: 93-104.

Liu L. Li D. Ma Y. Shen H. Zhao S. Wang Y. 2020. Combined application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and exogenous melatonin alleviates drought stress and improves plant growth in tobacco seedlings. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 1-14.

Liu Y. Xiao J. Ju W. Zhou Y. Wang S. Wu X. 2015. Water use efficiency of China‘s terrestrial ecosystems and responses to drought. Scientific Reports, 5(1): 1-12.

Maier CA. Burley J. Cook R. Ghezehei SB. Hazel DW. Nichols EG. 2019. Tree water use, water use efficiency, and carbon isotope discrimination in relation to growth potential in Populus deltoides and hybrids under field conditions. Forests, 10(11): 993.

Martínez-Vilalta J. Garcia-Forner N. 2017 Water potential regulation, stomatal behaviour and hydraulic transport under drought: Deconstructing the iso/anisohydric concept. Plant Cell Environment, 40:962–976.

Mutlu E. & Arslan N. 2021. Water Quality Assessment of Boyalı Dam Lake (Sinop, Turkey) by Using Ecological and Statistical Indicators. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. Formatio Circumiectus, 20(1): 77-85.

NCTA (National Christmas Tree Association). 2019. The real story about the supply and price of Christmas trees in 2019. Accessed 25. 03. 2021.

Nzokou P. Gooch NJ. Cregg BM. 2010. Design and implementation of a soil matric potential based automated irrigation system for drip irrigated Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) Christmas trees. HortTechnology, 20(6):1030-1036.

Ozel HB. Cetin M. Sevik H. Varol T. Isik B. Yaman B. 2021. The effects of base station as an electromagnetic radiation source on flower and cone yield and germination percentage in Pinus brutia Ten. Biologia Futura, 1-7.

Pettersson JM. Frampton J. Ronnberg J. Shew D. Benson DM. Cuberta MA. 2015. Increased number of Phytophthora species found in Fraser fir Christmas tree plantations in the southern Appalachians. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Christmas Tree Research and Extension Conference; Talgo, V., Floistad, I. (Eds) Norwegian Institute of Boieconomy Research (NIBO). Biri, Norway, p 27

Sevik H. Cetin M. Ozel HB. Erbek A. & Zeren Cetin I. 2021. The effect of climate on leaf micromorphological characteristics in some broad-leaved species. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23(4): 6395-6407.

Sevik H. Erturk N. 2015. Effects of drought stress on germination in fourteen provenances of Pinus brutia Ten. seeds in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Agriculture-Food Science and Technology, 3(5): 294-299.

Shults P. Nzokou P. Koc I. 2020. Nitrogen contributions of alley cropped Trifolium pratense may sustain short rotation woody crop yields on marginal lands. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 117(2): 261-272.

Soba D. Shu T. Runion GB. Prior SA. Fritschi FB. Aranjuelo I. Sanz-Saez A. 2020. Effects of elevated [CO2] on photosynthesis and seed yield parameters in two soybean genotypes with contrasting water use efficiency. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 178: 104154.

Song X. Zhou G. He Q. Zhou H. 2020. Stomatal limitations to photosynthesis and their critical water conditions in different growth stages of maize under water stress. Agricultural Water Management, 241: 106330.

Tan ZH. Wu ZX. Hughes AC. Schaefer D. Zeng J. Lan GY. ... & Yang LY. 2017. On the ratio of intercellular to ambient CO2 (ci/ca) derived from ecosystem flux. International Journal of Biometeorology, 61(12): 2059-2071.

Tokatli C. Mutlu E. & Arslan N. 2021. Assessment of the potentially toxic element contamination in water of Şehriban Stream (Black Sea Region, Turkey) by using statistical and ecological indicators. Water Environment Research, 93(10): 2060-2071.

Turfan N. Sarıyıldız T. & Mutlu E. 2019. Variation in Chemical Constituents of Siyez Wheat (Triticum monococcum L.) in Response to Some Abiotic Stress Factors. Turkish Journal of Agriculture-Food Science and Technology, 7(4): 598-605.

Uncumusaoğlu AA. & Mutlu E. 2021. Water Quality Assessment in Karaboğaz Stream Basin (Turkey) from a Multi-Statistical Perspective. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 30(5): 4747-4759.

Urban J. Ingwers MW. McGuire MA. Teskey RO. 2017. Increase in leaf temperature opens stomata and decouples net photosynthesis from stomatal conductance in Pinus taeda and Populus deltoides x nigra. Journal of Experimental Botany, 68(7): 1757-1767.

Varol T. Canturk U. Cetin M. Ozel HB. Sevik H. 2021. Impacts of climate change scenarios on European ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in Turkey. Forest Ecology and Management, 491: 119199.

Varol T. Cetin M. Ozel HB. Sevik H. & Zeren Cetin I. 2022. The effects of climate change scenarios on Carpinus betulus and Carpinus orientalis in Europe. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 233(2): 1-13.

Wang YSD. Yang D. Wu HD. Zhang YB. Zhang SB. Zhang YJ. Zhang JL. 2020. Overlapping water and nutrient use efficiencies and carbon assimilation between coexisting simple-and compound-leaved trees from a valley Savanna. Water, 12(11): 3037.

Wilson AR. Nzokou P. Güney D. Kulaç Ş. 2013. Growth response and nitrogen use physiology of Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), red pine (Pinus resinosa), and hybrid poplar under amino acid nutrition. New Forests, 44(2): 281-295.

Wood K. 2006. Drought-tolerant trees for Colorado landscapes. Doctoral thesis, Colorado State University.

Xu Y. Feng Z. Shang B. Yuan X. Tarvainen L. 2020. Limited water availability did not protect poplar saplings from water use efficiency reduction under elevated ozone. Forest Ecology and Management, 462: 117999.

Yang YJ. Bi MH. Nie ZF. Jiang H. Liu XD. Fang XW. Brodribb TJ. 2021. Evolution of stomatal closure to optimize water-use efficiency in response to dehydration in ferns and seed plants. New Phytologist.

Yigit N. Mutevelli Z. Sevik H. Onat SM. Ozel HB. Cetin M. Olgun C. 2021. Identification of Some Fiber Characteristics in Rosa sp. and Nerium oleander L. Wood Grown under Different Ecological Conditions. BioResources, 16(3): 5862-5874.

Yildiz D. Nzokou P. Deligoz A. Koc I. Genc, M. 2014. Chemical and physiological responses of four Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) provenances to cold temperature treatments. European Journal of Forest Research, 133: 809–818.

Zhang J. Jiang H. Song X. Jin J. Zhang X. 2018. The responses of plat leaf CO2/H2O exchange and water use efficiency to drought: a meta-analysis. Sustainability, 10(2): 551.

Zweifel R. Rigling A. Dobbertin M. 2009. Species-specific stomatal response of trees to drought–a link to vegetation dynamics? Journal of Vegetation Science, 20(3): 442-454.




How to Cite

Koç, İsmail, & Nzokou, P. (2022). Gas exchange parameters of 8-year-old Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. seedlings under different irrigation regimes. Turkish Journal of Agriculture - Food Science and Technology, 10(12), 2421–2429.



Research Paper