EGU23-1595, updated on 04 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

I'm a Survivor : Acacia trees ability to cope with extremely hot and dry environments

Daphna Uni1, Tamir Klein2, Gidon Winters3, and Efrat Sheffer1
Daphna Uni et al.
  • 1The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The faculty of agriculture, Rehovot, Israel (
  • 2Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  • 3The Dead Sea-Arava Science Center, Tamar Regional Council, 86910 Neve Zohar, Israel

Among living tree species, Acacia raddiana (Savi) and Acacia tortilis (Forssk), species of the legume family, populate some of the hottest and driest places on Earth. Our research investigates the physiological processes underlying the unique survival of trees in extreme environmental conditions. We measured Acacia trees in their natural habitat together with a controlled experiment under scenarios of drought and low N on a lysimeters system to unravel their water use strategies and growth dynamics. In the field, temperature positively influenced the growth rate of the trees, daily and annual gas-exchange curves showed higher gas exchange during noon and in summer, when temperature and radiation are maximal (44°C, 2000 µmol m-2 s-1), and the air is dry (21% RH). Furthermore, in the controlled experiment, Acacia saplings keep transpiring water (180 g per day), especially at noontime (0.08 gwater/gplant/ min), and therefore continue growing in low soil water content of 5%. These findings suggest a strong potential for acacia trees to contribute to ecosystem carbon sequestration in warming and drying climates.

How to cite: Uni, D., Klein, T., Winters, G., and Sheffer, E.: I'm a Survivor : Acacia trees ability to cope with extremely hot and dry environments, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1595,, 2023.