Abstract

Pressure–volume curves, day and night transpiration rates, needle drying curves, and shoot water potentials were determined for 2-year-old red spruce trees that had been exposed for three months to a range of acid mists (pH 2.5 to pH 5.0) containing equimolar (NH4)2SO4 and HNO3. No effect of acid mist was observed on cuticular resistance or on the rates of day and night transpiration, although trees exposed to acid mist exhibited symptoms of mild water stress. Significant decreases in maximum turgor, the relative water content (RWC) associated with zero turgor, and bulk volumetric elastic modulus occurred as the pH of the mist decreased from 5.0 to 2.5. At all RWC values, there was an increase in solute potential as mist pH decreased. Shoot water potential declined with a decrease in pH of the mist.

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