Presentation Title

The Effect of Restoration on Leaf Traits in Coastal Sage Scrub Species

Faculty Mentor

Cheryl Swift

Start Date

18-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 1:30 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 37

Session

Poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Coastal Sage Scrub (CSS) is home to over 70 threatened endangered species. Only 15% of the habitat remains because of effects of air pollution, invasive species and conversion of CSS to housing. Further loss of CSS must be mitigated by restoration of degraded CSS. We compared leaf traits and photosynthetic capacity to determine if leaves of black sage and laurel sumac from restored areas are more drought-adapted than leaves from a reference area. Palisade mesophyll, a densely-packed layer of cells, limits water loss while spongy mesophyll, a loosely packed layer of cells, facilitates diffusion of CO2 potentially increasing photosynthesis, but increases water loss.. The ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll in black sage leaves was similar: 0.92 from the restored site and 0.89 from the reference. The palisade to spongy proportion was significantly different for laurel sumac individuals, with 0.33 from the reference and 0.60 from the restored area suggesting that leaves are more drought-resistant. This is important for laurel sumac which keeps its leaves for as long as three years. Since black sage is summer deciduous, increased amounts of palisade to prevent water loss is not as important. The specific leaf mass was significantly lower in the restored site relative to the reference site, indicating more drought-adapted, thicker leaves for laurel sumac, but photosynthetic rates were higher in the reference site for both black sage and laurel sumac. The results suggest that leaf construction and photosynthetic rate are responding to decreased water availability in restored areas.

Summary of research results to be presented

The ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll in black sage leaves was similar: 0.92 from the restored site and 0.89 from the reference. The palisade to spongy proportion was significantly different for laurel sumac individuals, with 0.33 from the reference and 0.60 from the restored area suggesting that leaves are more drought-resistant. This is important for laurel sumac which keeps its leaves for as long as three years. Since black sage is summer deciduous, increased amounts of palisade to prevent water loss is not as important. The specific leaf mass was significantly lower in the restored site relative to the reference site, indicating more drought-adapted, thicker leaves for laurel sumac, but photosynthetic rates were higher in the reference site for both black sage and laurel sumac.

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

The Effect of Restoration on Leaf Traits in Coastal Sage Scrub Species

BSC-Ursa Minor 37

Coastal Sage Scrub (CSS) is home to over 70 threatened endangered species. Only 15% of the habitat remains because of effects of air pollution, invasive species and conversion of CSS to housing. Further loss of CSS must be mitigated by restoration of degraded CSS. We compared leaf traits and photosynthetic capacity to determine if leaves of black sage and laurel sumac from restored areas are more drought-adapted than leaves from a reference area. Palisade mesophyll, a densely-packed layer of cells, limits water loss while spongy mesophyll, a loosely packed layer of cells, facilitates diffusion of CO2 potentially increasing photosynthesis, but increases water loss.. The ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll in black sage leaves was similar: 0.92 from the restored site and 0.89 from the reference. The palisade to spongy proportion was significantly different for laurel sumac individuals, with 0.33 from the reference and 0.60 from the restored area suggesting that leaves are more drought-resistant. This is important for laurel sumac which keeps its leaves for as long as three years. Since black sage is summer deciduous, increased amounts of palisade to prevent water loss is not as important. The specific leaf mass was significantly lower in the restored site relative to the reference site, indicating more drought-adapted, thicker leaves for laurel sumac, but photosynthetic rates were higher in the reference site for both black sage and laurel sumac. The results suggest that leaf construction and photosynthetic rate are responding to decreased water availability in restored areas.