Abstract Detail


Ransone, Katherine [1], Steven, Janet [2].

Drought stress reduces biomass and alters tissue water content in Silene latifolia.

Climate change impacts nearly every aspect of life on earth, and increases in global surface air temperatures lead to changes in weather patterns and amount of rainfall, which in turn decrease water availability and soil water content for plants. Drought can alter plant growth and morphology, resulting in changes in biomass allocation and water storage. These changes, including increased water storage and  increased root length and surface area, allow the plant to and survive drought conditions.
This study looks at plant response to drought, focusing on the species Silene latifolia. Plants were kept in a climate-controlled growth chamber where half of the plants were randomly selected to receive a drought treatment, which was half the amount of water as compared to the control. Data was collected from 152 plants total, which grew for 12 weeks before biomass was harvested, dried, and weighed. 
Plants exposed to drought conditions had a significantly higher above ground water content, and drought plants had significantly less water in the fifth-produced flowers as compared to those in the control treatment. This may have been due to a reduction in petal size, allowing for less water allocation towards petal growth. Both above and below-ground biomass allocation of the plants significantly differed between treatments. The plants exposed to drought had less biomass, as overall growth was decreased. Plants experiencing drought also allocated more biomass towards their roots rather than aboveground biomass, indicating that resource allocation changed due to the drought conditions. While exposure to drought did not impact mortality rate, plant growth was significantly altered in drought conditions.

1 - Christopher Newport University, Department of Environmental and Organismal Biology, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, VA, 23606, USA
2 - Christopher Newport University, Department Of Organismal And Environmental Biology, 1 Avenue Of The Arts, Newport News, VA, 23606, United States

drought tolerance
tissue water content
Silene latifolia
aboveground biomass
Belowground Biomass
resource allocation
water stress
plant response

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECOPH3, Ecophysiology III
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: ECOPH3005
Abstract ID:734
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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