Physiological responses to short-term water and light stress in native and invasive plant species in southern California
- 942 Downloads
As climate variability increases in low-resource environments, the ability of native and invasive species to tolerate stress and respond to large, ephemeral resource pulses will strongly influence plant fitness and, consequently, competitive outcomes. We examined how native and invasive species occurring in arid coastal sage scrub communities in southern California responded to water and high-light stress. We also examined how plants responded to irrigation following short-term water stress. While species responded differently to water and light treatments, no general pattern emerged between native and invasive species. Photosynthetic function of Ricinus communis (invasive) and Salvia mellifera (native) was most robust to water stress and most responsive to irrigation following water stress. Leaf transpiration data suggested that Ricinus and Salvia maintained photosynthetic function by high water use efficiency rather than higher water status via large root biomass. Brassica nigra (invasive) and Encelia californica (native) were more resistant to photoinhibition in response to high-light stress than Ricinus, Salvia, Artemesia californica (native) or Nicotiana glauca (invasive). Our data suggest that native and invasive species in these arid systems display a range of physiological responses to stress and that strategies for invasive species control or native ecosystem restoration based on plant responses to stress may require species-specific approaches.
KeywordsResource availability Water stress Photoinhibition Resource use efficiency Precipitation pulses Plasticity
We thank Erick Reisinger and Lori Glenwinkel for their assistance in the lab and field. Molly Cavaleri and Christine Creese provided valuable comments that greatly improved the manuscript. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Office of Sponsored Research, Office of the Chancellor, Chapman University.
- Barker DH, Vanier C, Naumburg E, Charlet TN, Nielsen KM, Newingham BA, Smith SD (2006) Enhanced monsoon precipitation and nitrogen deposition affect leaf traits and photosynthesis differently in spring and summer in the desert shrub Larrea tridentata. New Phytol 169:799–808CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cavender-Bares J, Bazzaz FA (2004) From leaves to ecosystems: using chlorophyll fluorescence to assess photosynthesis and plant function in ecological studies. In: Papageorgiou GC, Govindjee (eds) Chlorophyll a fluorescence: a signature of photosynthesis. Springer, The Netherlands, pp 737–755Google Scholar
- Comar V, Tilley D, Felix E, Turdera M, Chagas Neto M (2004) Comparative energy evaluation of Castor bean (Ricinus communis) production systems in Brazil and the U.S. In: Ortega E, Ulgiati S (eds) Proceedings of IV biennial international workshop “Advances in energy studies”, pp 227–237, Unicamp, Campinas, SP, BrazilGoogle Scholar
- Diffenbaugh NS, Pal JS, Trapp RJ, Giorgi F (2005) Fine-scale processes regulate the response of extreme events to global climate change. Proceedings of the national academy of science 102: 15774–15778Google Scholar
- Gotelli NJ, Ellison AM (2004) A primer of ecological statistics. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, MAGoogle Scholar
- Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Rejmanek M, Richardson DM, Pysek P (2005) Plant invasions and invasibility of plant communities. In: van der Maarel E (ed) Vegetation ecology. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp 332–355Google Scholar
- Rundel PW, Gustafson R (2005) Introduction to the Plant Life of Southern California: Coast to Foothills. University of California Press, Berkeley, CAGoogle Scholar