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Abstract Detail

Desiccation tolerance in bryophytes: perspectives from early career scientists

Slate, Mandy [1], Callaway, Ragan [1].

The effects of bryo-tic pulses on interactions between vascular plants.

There has been a great deal of research on how non-vascular plants survive cyclical desiccation events, and we have a working understanding of the genetic, biochemical, and physiological mechanisms that contribute to desiccation tolerance. However, less research, has explored the potential for rehydration to have unique impacts on communities and ecosystems. When a bryophyte transitions from a wet to dry state, the plant's cellular integrity is compromised as cells shrink and contort. Rehydration subsequently induces the release of intra-cellular contents while the plant reassembles its damaged membrane. Thus during dry-wet transition periods bryophytes may release substantial and labile pulses of organic materials (leachate) with the potential to affect co-occurring vascular plants and soil biota.
In a pairwise greenhouse experiment, I compared the effects of water versus moss leachate on the above-ground biomass of two vascular plant species (Festuca idahoensis and Centaurea stoebe) grown alone or in competition. Moss rehydration leachate had no direct effect on either species grown alone, but I measured a shift in indirect competitive interactions between water and leachate treatments. Rehydration leachate shifted competitive outcomes in favor of Festuca. The mechanisms underlying this effect are unclear. However, it is possible that moss leachate benefits soil biota which mediates these community interactions. Ultimately, my results indicate that moss rehydration may provide resources that directly and/ or indirectly influence competitive outcomes that affect community dynamics.

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1 - University of Monatana, Division of Biological Sciences, 32 Campus Dr. HS 104, Missoula, Montana, 59812, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Salon 8/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY11003
Abstract ID:491
Candidate for Awards:None

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