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Leaf ecophysiological traits related to carbon gain and resource use are expected to be under strong selection in desert annuals. We used comparative and phenotypic selection approaches to investigate the importance of leaf ecophysiological traits for Helianthus anomalus, a diploid annual sunflower species of hybrid origin that is endemic to active desert dunes. Comparisons were made within and among five genotypic classes: H. anomalus, its ancestral parent species (H. annuus and H. petiolaris), and two backcrossed populations of the parental species (designated BC2ann and BC2pet) representing putative ancestors of H. anomalus. Seedlings were transplanted into H. anomalus habitat at Little Sahara Dunes, Utah, and...
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Leaf carbonisotope discrimination (?) was measured for three dominant, semi-arid woodland species along a summer monsoon gradient inthe southwestern United States over a 2-year period. We tested the hypothesis that decreased humidity levels during the growing season along this gradient resulted in lower leaf ? values. Sites of similar elevation along the transect were selected and the range in monsoon contribution to overall annual precipitation varied from 18 to 58%, while total annual precipitation differed by a maximum of only 25% across this gradient. Leaf ? values in Quercus gambelii were negatively correlated with ?, a seasonally-weighted estimate of the evaporative humidity gradient, suggesting that stomatal...
Tortula ruralis is a homoiochlorophyllous-desiccation-tolerant (HDT) moss that retains all pigments when dehydrated and rapidly recovers physiological function upon rehydration. This moss forms extensive cover in exposed and shaded areas in the sandy semi-arid grasslands of Central Europe. We hypothesized that contrasting drying regimes between these microhabitats would affect-plant N status, constraints to gas exchange and growth, as well as result in altered pigment concentrations and ratios, and photochemical light-response dynamics. Furthermore, we believed T. ruralis's HDT habit would limit its ability to acclimate to altered light environment. We found that sun plant T. ruralis had lower plant mass, as well...
Plant community structure in the southwestern United States co-varies with soil surface characteristics due to their role in controlling water availability. At the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, we evaluated winter and summer season dynamics of photosynthesis in a dominant shrub species, Larrea tridentata (creosotebush), across soils with contrasting development of surface and sub-surface horizons. We measured pre-dawn water potential (?pd), stomatal conductance (gs), leaf nitrogen content (%N), and determined stable carbon isotope discrimination (?). There were no differences in these parameters throughout the winter, although ? was higher and %N was lower on the clay than sandy soil early...
Growth of vegetative and reproductive structures in Artemisia tridentata is temporally separated during the growing season; vegetative growth occurs during spring and early summer when soil moisture is most abundant, while reproductive growth occur during summer and fall when soil moisture may be limiting. Vegetative and reproductive structures may therefore exhibit contrasting efficiencies of resource acquisition and investment resulting from temporal differences in resource availability during their development. We examined the effect of water stress on growth, photosynthesis, and resource investment for vegetative and reproductive modules of Artemisia tridentata by applying supplemental water. No differences...


    map background search result map search result map Carbon isotope discrimination in three semi-arid woodland species along a monsoon gradient Carbon isotope discrimination in three semi-arid woodland species along a monsoon gradient