Presentation Title

Post-Drought Recovery of Exotic Schinus molle Compared to Native Malosma laurina

Faculty Mentor

Stephen D. Davis

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

Location

9-271

Session

Bio Sciences 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

In fall of 2016, California faced historic drought that caused great water stress on plants surrounding the Santa Monica Mountains. One of which being the native Malosma laurina plant. One plant that seemed unbothered was the newly invasive species, Schinus molle. After observing this, my lab partners and I compared water potential, photosynthetic parameters of Schinus molle comparing it to Malosma laurina to understand why Schinus molle was outperforming. Through this, we concluded that Schinus molle is a better conserver of water during times of drought. Following this, California experienced rainfall and the drought was assumed over. In the summer of 2017, I preformed similar tests on the same plants to address whether recovery had occurred. I hypothesized that due to an increase in rainfall water potential and photosynthetic performance of the invasive Schinus molle and Malosma laurina would increase post-drought and that water potential and photosynthetic performance of Schinus molle will be higher than that of Malosma laurina. I found a significant recovery in both species. Both plants had significant recovery in photosynthesis, pre-dawn water potential, and stomatal conductance. In addition, Schinus molle now has a higher photosynthetic rate (17 mmol/ m-2s-1) than that of Malosma laurina (12 mmol/m-2s-1), whereas before we found no significant difference between the two (both about 3mmol/ m-2s-1) . Another discovery was in the fall stomatal conductance of Schinus molle was very low (0.2 mol/ m-2s-1) and in the summer the stomatal conductance increased significantly (160 mol/ m-2s-1). Meaning that under water stress, it conserves water but during rainfall it opens its stomata to gain as much water as possible. My results from this past summer, as well as the data collected from the fall suggests significant recovery between both plants, and that due to Schinus molle’s physiologically it outcompetes native species, especially in times of severe stress.

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Nov 18th, 2:00 PM Nov 18th, 2:15 PM

Post-Drought Recovery of Exotic Schinus molle Compared to Native Malosma laurina

9-271

In fall of 2016, California faced historic drought that caused great water stress on plants surrounding the Santa Monica Mountains. One of which being the native Malosma laurina plant. One plant that seemed unbothered was the newly invasive species, Schinus molle. After observing this, my lab partners and I compared water potential, photosynthetic parameters of Schinus molle comparing it to Malosma laurina to understand why Schinus molle was outperforming. Through this, we concluded that Schinus molle is a better conserver of water during times of drought. Following this, California experienced rainfall and the drought was assumed over. In the summer of 2017, I preformed similar tests on the same plants to address whether recovery had occurred. I hypothesized that due to an increase in rainfall water potential and photosynthetic performance of the invasive Schinus molle and Malosma laurina would increase post-drought and that water potential and photosynthetic performance of Schinus molle will be higher than that of Malosma laurina. I found a significant recovery in both species. Both plants had significant recovery in photosynthesis, pre-dawn water potential, and stomatal conductance. In addition, Schinus molle now has a higher photosynthetic rate (17 mmol/ m-2s-1) than that of Malosma laurina (12 mmol/m-2s-1), whereas before we found no significant difference between the two (both about 3mmol/ m-2s-1) . Another discovery was in the fall stomatal conductance of Schinus molle was very low (0.2 mol/ m-2s-1) and in the summer the stomatal conductance increased significantly (160 mol/ m-2s-1). Meaning that under water stress, it conserves water but during rainfall it opens its stomata to gain as much water as possible. My results from this past summer, as well as the data collected from the fall suggests significant recovery between both plants, and that due to Schinus molle’s physiologically it outcompetes native species, especially in times of severe stress.