Presentation Title

Leaf Water Relations of a Widespread Tank Bromeliad

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#175

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

The epiphytic plant, Guzmania monostachia is native to rainforest habitats in South America, Central America, and the West Indies. It is a CAM intermediate, switching from C3 to CAM photosynthesis under high light or drought stress. G. monostachia is a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which is characterized by a lack of absorptive roots. Plants in this family rely on their leaves which overlap at the base to form tanks to take up water and nutrients. This tank can be a home for insects and can prolong the plant’s access to crucial resources. As an epiphytic plant, the availability of light and water can vary greatly in the rainforest canopy. G. monostachia is usually found in areas of relatively higher light. When the leaves of these plants are denied access to water they display an extraordinary ability to maintain structure and photosynthetic integrity. Prior research has investigated how this species moves water, but quantifying the dehydration and rehydration processes has yet to be explored. Investigations into the leaf hydraulic conductance of this species has found that plants that occupy a wide range of light environments (such as G. monostachia) demonstrate a greater plasticity in leaf hydraulic conductance. Variables measured include Fv/Fm, chlorophyll content, water potential, and performed leaf hydraulics to quantify physiological changes in the plant during dehydration and rehydration. Results showed that there were significant changes in the stress level of the plants marked by decreases in maximum quantum efficiency. However, there were not significant differences in leaf hydraulic conductance. Studying the extent to which this species can handle changes in water availability is becoming increasingly relevant as variations in light, temperature, and rainfall in tropical forests are escalating with climate change and deforestation.

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Leaf Water Relations of a Widespread Tank Bromeliad

HUB 302-#175

The epiphytic plant, Guzmania monostachia is native to rainforest habitats in South America, Central America, and the West Indies. It is a CAM intermediate, switching from C3 to CAM photosynthesis under high light or drought stress. G. monostachia is a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which is characterized by a lack of absorptive roots. Plants in this family rely on their leaves which overlap at the base to form tanks to take up water and nutrients. This tank can be a home for insects and can prolong the plant’s access to crucial resources. As an epiphytic plant, the availability of light and water can vary greatly in the rainforest canopy. G. monostachia is usually found in areas of relatively higher light. When the leaves of these plants are denied access to water they display an extraordinary ability to maintain structure and photosynthetic integrity. Prior research has investigated how this species moves water, but quantifying the dehydration and rehydration processes has yet to be explored. Investigations into the leaf hydraulic conductance of this species has found that plants that occupy a wide range of light environments (such as G. monostachia) demonstrate a greater plasticity in leaf hydraulic conductance. Variables measured include Fv/Fm, chlorophyll content, water potential, and performed leaf hydraulics to quantify physiological changes in the plant during dehydration and rehydration. Results showed that there were significant changes in the stress level of the plants marked by decreases in maximum quantum efficiency. However, there were not significant differences in leaf hydraulic conductance. Studying the extent to which this species can handle changes in water availability is becoming increasingly relevant as variations in light, temperature, and rainfall in tropical forests are escalating with climate change and deforestation.