Effects of water scarcity and salinity on the anatomy of the Tunisian table olive cultivar ‘Meski’
Keywords:anatomical adaptations, drought, olive, moderate stress, salinity, severe stress
The table olive cultivar ‘Meski’ was subjected to two stresses related to water, scarcity, and salinity. Anatomical adaptations of leaves, stems and roots were studied and compared, to value the water use efficiency of the tree. Two stress levels were adopted corresponding to moderate and severe levels. Thus, the trees behaviour was influenced by the stress type and intensity. The aerial part of the trees showed more adaptation modes than the underground part. Under both stresses, plants have fortified the protection of the leaf tissues by developing upper envelope and multiplying the trichomes. Plants reinforced the support tissues by multiplying the collenchyma and sclereids, and have amplified the transport tissues by enhancing vascularity through multiplying the number of conductive vessels. However, different behaviours seemed to be specific to each stress such an enlargement of liber and reduction of wood in the drought stress and a restriction of liber and wood tissues in salt stress. Additionally, a retraction of the palisade parenchyma and an extension of the spongy parenchyma in drought stress inversely to salt stress were noted. In the treated stems and roots, development of stomata, suber, pericyclic fiber and liber, and a restriction of wood especially in severe stress were observed. The plants developed important changes in moderate stresses; however, in the severe, the plants seemed to be stressed, by presenting no significant changes relatively to the control.
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