Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Mandy L. Slate

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Division of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Native and Exotic Forbes Germination Response to Drought Stress

Beau R. Jennings, Mandy L. Slate, Dean E. Pearson

Abstract

The shifting climate of the western North American grasslands is forecasted to continue the trend of decreased annual rainfall and longer phases of rain-free windows in times where rainfall has been previously abundant. This understanding has inspired many studies on how ecosystems will respond to these changes. One of the key factors in the shaping of the ecosystem is the availability of precipitation in the spring, which will limit plant recruitment and seedling survival for the dryland ecosystem. Furthermore, seedling’s ability to establish themselves prior to hot dry summers is a key attribute to ensuring success in survival and reproduction. Yet, the expansion of exotic over native species in dryland ecosystems suggests that some exotic plants have traits that allow them to succeed at a higher success rate than native plants. Specifically, understanding the germination tendencies of exotic and native forbes will allow better predictions to be made on the future shaping of these ecosystems.

We conducted an experiment in a lab comparing germination percentages and rates of germination for multiple species of native and exotic grassland forbs under different levels of water availability. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber where temperature, lighting, and humidity were kept as constant variables. The specimens were placed in petri dishes on top of filter paper, and each petri dish lid had three ⅛” holes to allow some evaporation. We hydrated seeds with either 2ml and 3ml daily or every other day. Specimens were examined daily in order to record germination promptly. We will present a comparison of Germination synchrony, germinability, time to germination, germination t50, and germination range between native and exotic forbes species, and discuss how these findings may be used to better understand the processes in which exotic plants are able to overtake plants in their native habitats.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 17th, 3:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

Effects of water availability on the germination of native and exotic forbs

UC South Ballroom

Native and Exotic Forbes Germination Response to Drought Stress

Beau R. Jennings, Mandy L. Slate, Dean E. Pearson

Abstract

The shifting climate of the western North American grasslands is forecasted to continue the trend of decreased annual rainfall and longer phases of rain-free windows in times where rainfall has been previously abundant. This understanding has inspired many studies on how ecosystems will respond to these changes. One of the key factors in the shaping of the ecosystem is the availability of precipitation in the spring, which will limit plant recruitment and seedling survival for the dryland ecosystem. Furthermore, seedling’s ability to establish themselves prior to hot dry summers is a key attribute to ensuring success in survival and reproduction. Yet, the expansion of exotic over native species in dryland ecosystems suggests that some exotic plants have traits that allow them to succeed at a higher success rate than native plants. Specifically, understanding the germination tendencies of exotic and native forbes will allow better predictions to be made on the future shaping of these ecosystems.

We conducted an experiment in a lab comparing germination percentages and rates of germination for multiple species of native and exotic grassland forbs under different levels of water availability. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber where temperature, lighting, and humidity were kept as constant variables. The specimens were placed in petri dishes on top of filter paper, and each petri dish lid had three ⅛” holes to allow some evaporation. We hydrated seeds with either 2ml and 3ml daily or every other day. Specimens were examined daily in order to record germination promptly. We will present a comparison of Germination synchrony, germinability, time to germination, germination t50, and germination range between native and exotic forbes species, and discuss how these findings may be used to better understand the processes in which exotic plants are able to overtake plants in their native habitats.