EVALUATION OF THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND GROWTH RESPONSE OF JUNIPERUS PROCERA HOCHST. EX ENDLICHER TO SOME TYPES OF MICROCATCHMENTS
|Ibrahim Mohamed Aref 1; Hashim Ali El Atta*1; Thobayet Alshahrani1; Abdul Rahman Alazba2; Abdalla
|Corresponding Author: Hashim Ali El Atta, Email: [email protected] Mobile: +966500778916|
|Received: 11th Jan-2013 Accepted: 25th Jan -2013|
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Juniperus procera Hochst. ex Endlicher forests and woodlots are the dominant species at ≥ 1600 m.a.s.l. in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The species has been declining progressively in many parts of the world mainly due to drought, increased runoff and soil erosion. This study was designed to investigate the effect of improving rainwater harvesting by some types of microcatchments (repaired terraces and semi-circular bunds) on leaf water potential, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic gas exchange of J. procera. The study was carried out for one year in Al Souda National Park (southwestern Saudi Arabia: 18° 17´ 59´´ N 42° 21 47´´ E). Microcatchments constructed were ten terraces repaired by using stones and soil, four semi-circular and four quadrangular bunds in addition to control site with no intervention. After one year leaf water potential, chlorophyll content and gas exchange were measured. The results revealed that J. procera growing inside microcatchments had significantly more LWP, chlorophyll a and b, net photosynthetic and respiration rates and stomatal conductance than control. Growth performance of seedlings grown inside microcatchments increased significantly in terms of diameter, height and survival as compared to control.