Differences of turgor loss point and leaf dry matter content across grassland forbs
thesisposted on 2020-05-01, 00:00 authored by Evana Somlyay
Leaf turgor loss point (TLP) has been proposed to be a key indicator of drought resistance in plants. Many terrestrial landscapes are facing increased stress with the increase in intensity and duration of drought due to climate change. One of the ecosystems expected to be heavily affected by increased drought are grasslands, which comprise a large majority of terrestrial landscapes. Forb species may be at risk of succumbing to drought than grasses, but forbs contribute to much of the biodiversity in these ecosystems. Identifying differences in leaf turgor loss point among forbs across different grasslands can help to determine their drought resistance. Through use of an osmometer, 61 forb species were collected across 3 different grassland sites in the United States (Flagstaff, Santa Rita, Jornada) to determine their TLP, and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). Sites that experience higher temperature and lower precipitation exhibited lower leaf TLP than sites lower temperature and higher precipitation. TLP is useful for indicating the range of drought resistance in grassland forbs and can be used to predict how a grassland communities respond to a drought. LDMC is strongly correlated with TLP, further identifying why specific survival strategies used by grassland forbs.