Skip to main content

Response of Poa annua to extreme conditions: comparison of morphological traits between populations from cold and temperate climate conditions

Abstract

Poa annua is an expansive species that has developed a stable breeding population on the west shore of Admiralty Bay, King George Island (Antarctica). We investigated whether the colonization success of this species in extreme climatic conditions is associated with morphological variability. We compared the differences in 12 traits among P. annua populations thriving in Admiralty Bay, Tatra Mountains and Warsaw. Our expectations that plants occurring in maritime Antarctic and mountain conditions should exhibit similar morphological characteristics were not confirmed. Comparison of individual morphometric traits indicated high variability within as well as between the studied populations. Plants from the Admiralty Bay population differed significantly from plants from the Warsaw and Tatra populations in 9 of the 12 studied traits. We discovered more similarities between the Polish populations (Warsaw and Tatra) than between the populations from harsh environments (maritime Antarctic and Tatra). The Tatra population exhibited intermediate morphological characteristics in relation to plants from the other two studied populations. In parallel, the climatic conditions expressed in mean monthly air temperature were intermediate in the Tatra location. Four traits analyzed by other authors in the sub-Antarctic populations and by us in the maritime Antarctic population were consistently lower than for the Tatra and Warsaw populations. This finding is in accordance with our working hypothesis (i.e., plants growing in harsh cold conditions exhibit similar morphological characteristics). Our results might suggest that the morphological response to environmental stress of plants occurring in mountain and polar conditions may be similar.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Arevalo JR, Delgado JD, Otto R, Naranjo A, Salas M, Fernandez-Palacios JM (2005) Distribution of alien vs. native plant species in roadside communities along an altitudinal gradient in Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). Perspect Plant Ecol 7:185–202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Billings WD (1974) Adaptations and origins of alpine plants. Arct Alp Res 6(2):121–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Billings WD, Mooney HA (1968) The ecology of arctic and alpine plants. Biol Rev 43:481–529

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bliss LC (1962) Adaptations of arctic and alpine plants to environmental conditions. Arct 15(2):117–144

    Google Scholar 

  • Chwedorzewska KJ (2008) Poa annua L. in Antarctic: searching for the source of introduction. Polar Biol 31:263–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chwedorzewska KJ, Bednarek PT (2012) Genetic and epigenetic variation in a cosmopolitan grass Poa annua from Antarctic and Polish populations. Pol Polar Res 33(1):63–80

    Google Scholar 

  • Chwedorzewska KJ, Wódkiewicz M, Giełwanowska I, Olech M, Molina-Montenegro MA, Galera H (2015) Poa annua L. in the maritime-Antarctic: an overview. Polar. doi:10.1017/S0032247414000916:1-7

    Google Scholar 

  • Climatologia da Baia do Admirantado (2014) In: Antárctica. Projeto de Meteorologia Antárctica. Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climátos http://antartica.cptec.inpe.br/~rantar/data/resumos/climatolbaia.xls. Accessed 28 Nov 2014

  • Climatological data (2014) In: Federal Program World Ocean, Antarctic Research and Investigation Subprogram, Russian Antarctic Expedition http://www.aari.aq/default_en.html. Accessed 28 Nov 2014

  • Connolly J, Wayne P, Murray R (1990) Time course of plant-plant interactions in experimental mixtures of annuals: density, frequency, and nutrient effects. Oecologia 82:513–526

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cordukes WE (1977) Growth habit and heat tolerance of a collection of Poa annua plants in Canada. Can J Plant Sci 57:1201–1203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson J, Lucas R (2005) The nature of plants. Habitats, challenges, and adaptations. Timber Press, Portland, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Day TA, Ruhland CT, Grobe CW, Xiong F (1999) Growth and reproduction of Antarctic vascular plants in response to warming and UV radiation reductions in the field. Oecologia 119:24–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dyer AR, Goldberg DE, Turkington R, Sayre C (2001) Effects of growing conditions and source habitat on plant traits and functional group definition. Funct Ecol 15:85–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ellis WM, Lee BTO, Calder DM (1971) A biometric analysis of populations of Poa annua L. Evolution 25(1):29–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frenot Y, Gloaguen JC (1994) Reproductive performance of native and alien colonizing phanerogams on a glacier foreland, Iles Kerguelen. Polar Biol 14:473–481

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frenot Y, Gloaguen JC, Tréhen P (1997) Climate change in Kerguelen Islands and colonization of recently deglaciated area by Poa kerguelensis and Poa annua. In: Walton DWH (ed) Antarctic communities: species, structure and survival. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 358–366

    Google Scholar 

  • Frenot Y, Aubry M, Misset MT, Gloaguen JC, Gourret JP, Lebouvier M (1999) Phenotypic plasticity and genetic diversity in Poa annua L. (Poaceae) at Crozet and Kerguelen islands (subantarctic). Polar Biol 22:302–310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frenot Y, Gloaguen JC, Massé L, Lebouvier M (2001) Human activities, ecosystem disturbance and plant invasions in sub-Antarctic Crozet, Kerguelen and Amsterdam Islands. Biol Conserv 101:33–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frenot Y, Chown SL, Whinam J, Selkirk PM, Convey P, Skotnicki M, Bergstrom DM (2005) Biological invasions in the Antarctic: extent, impacts and implications. Biol Rev 80:45–72

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gibeault VA (1971) Perenniality in Poa annua L. Dissertation, Oregon State University

  • Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R (1986) Comparative plant ecology: a functional approach to common British species. Unwin Hyman, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Heide OM (2001) Flowering responses of contrasting ecotypes of Poa annua and their putative ancestors Poa infirma and Poa supina. Ann Bot 87:795–804

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hemp A (2008) Introduced plants on Kilimanjaro: tourism and its impact. Plant Ecol 197:17–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holm L, Doll E, Holm J, Panchbo J, Herberger J (1997) World weeds, natural histories and distribution. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Hughes KA, Convey P (2010) The protection of Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems from inter- and intra- continental transfer of non-indigenous species by human activities: a review of current systems and practices. Glob Environ Change 20:96–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Infoclimat (2015) In: Infoclimat.fr, Météo-France http://www.infoclimat.fr/climatologie-mensuelle. Accessed 19 Apr 2015

  • Law R (1981) The dynamics of colonising population Poa annua. Ecology 62:1267–1277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Law R, Bradshaw AD, Putwain PD (1977) Life history variation in Poa annua. Evolution 31:233–246

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lityńska-Zając M, Chwedorzewska KJ, Olech M, Korczak-Abshire M, Augustyniuk-Kram A (2012) Diaspores and phyto-remains accidentally transported to the Antarctic Station during three expeditions. Biodiver Conserv 21:3411–3421

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McElroy JS, Walker RH, Wehtje GR, Van Santen E (2004) Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) populations exhibit variation in germination response to temperature, photoperiod, and fenarimol. Weed Sci 52(1):47–52

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • McNeilly T (1981) Ecotypic differentiation in Poa annua: interpopulation differences in response to competition and cutting. N Phytol 88:539–547

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McNeilly T (1984) Ecotypic differentiation in Poa annua: within population variation in response to competition and cutting. N Phytol 96:307–316

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mirek Z, Piękoś-Mirkowa H (1974) Nowe maksima wysokościowe i nowe stanowiska kilkudziesięciu gatunków synantropijnych w Tatrach. The new localities and the new altitudinal maxima of some synanthropic plant species in the Tatra Mts. Fragm Florist Geobot 30(3):307–3017

    Google Scholar 

  • Mirek Z, Piękoś-Mirkowa H (2005) Grass species occurring in anthropogenic habitats in the Tatra National Park. In: Frey L (ed) Biology of grasses. W Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, pp 85–99

  • Mirek Z, Piêkoœ-Mirkowa H (2007) Trawy gór. Mountain grasses. In: Frey L (ed) Ksiêga polskich traw. W Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, pp 203–207

  • Mitich LW (1998) Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.). Weed Technol 12:414–416

    Google Scholar 

  • Molina-Montenegro MA, Carrasco-Urra F, Rodrigo C, Convey P, Valladares F, Gianoli E (2012) Occurrence of the non-native annual bluegrass on the Antarctic mainland and its negative effects on native plants. Conserv Biol 26:717–723

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Molina-Montenegro MA, Carrasco-Urra F, Acuña-Rodríguez I, Oses R, Chwedorzewska KJ (2014) Assessing the importance of human activities for the establishment of the invasive Poa annua in the Antarctica. Polar Res 33:21425. doi:10.3402/polar.v33.21425

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Olech M, Chwedorzewska KJ (2011) The first appearance and establishment of alien vascular plant in natural habitats on the forefield of retreating glacier in Antarctica. Antarct Sci 23:153–154

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pertierra LR, Lara F, Benayas J, Hughes KA (2013) Poa pratensis L., current status of the longest-established nonnative vascular plant in the Antarctic. Polar Biol 36:1473–1481

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scott JJ, Kirkpatrick JB (2005) Changes in subantarctic heard island vegetation at sites occupied by Poa annua, 1987–2000. Arct Antarct Alp Res 37(3):366–371

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stachurska-Swakoń A (2009) Phytogeographical aspects of the grasses occurring in tall-herb vegetation in the Carpathians. In: Frey L (ed) Grass research. W Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, pp 39–47

  • StatSoft Inc (2009) STATISTICA data analysis software system, version 9.0. www.statsoft.com

  • Stoy AN (2005) Life history traits in Poa annua L. populations throughout Utah’s diverse environments. Dissertation, Utah State University, Logan

  • Sudnik-Wojcikowska B, Galera H (2011) Warsaw. In: Kelcey JG, Mueller N (eds) Plants and habitats in European cities. Springer, New York, pp 499–545

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Till-Bottraud I, Wu L, Harding J (1990) Rapid evolution of life history traits in populations of Poa annua L. J Evol Biol 3:205–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tutin TG (1952) Origin of Poa annua L. Nature 169:160

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tutin TG (1957) A contribution to the experimental taxonomy of Poa annua L. Watsonia 4:1–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Vargas JM, Turgeon AJ (2004) Poa annua—physiology, culture, and control of annual bluegrass. Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey

    Google Scholar 

  • Vittoz P, Bodin J, Ungricht S, Burga C, Walther G-R (2008) One century of vegetation change on Isla Persa, a nunatak in the Bernina massif in the Swiss Alps. J Veg Sci 19:671–680

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang CT, Long RJ, Wang QJ, Ding LM, Wang MP (2007) Effects of altitude on plant-species diversity and productivity in an alpine meadow, Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Aust J Bot 55(2):110–117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Warwick SI, Briggs D (1978) The genecology of lawn weeds I. population differentiation in Poa annua L. in a mosaic environment of bowling green lawns and flower beds. N Phytol 81:711–723

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wells GJ (1974) The biology of Poa annua and its significance in grassland. Herb Abstr 44:385–391

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams L, Kristiansen P, Shaw J, Sindel B, Wilson SC (2013) Weeds down under: invasion of the sub-Antarctic wilderness of Macquarie Island. Plant Prot Q 28(3):71–72

    Google Scholar 

  • Wódkiewicz M, Galera H, Giełwanowska I, Chwedorzewska KJ, Olech M (2013) Diaspores of the introduced species Poa annua L. in soil samples from King George Island (South Shetlands, Antarctic). Arct Antarct Alp Res 45:415–419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wódkiewicz M, Ziemiański M, Kwiecień K, Chwedorzewska KJ, Galera H (2014) Spatial structure of the soil seed bank of Poa annua L.—alien species in the Antarctica. Biodiver Conserv 23:1339–1346

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Polish Ministry of Scientific Research and Higher Education Grant 2013/09/B/NZ8/03293. The authors would like to thank Ms. Anna Gasek for providing assistance with the field work. Meteorogical data from Poland (Warszawa Okęcie, Zakopane Równia Krupowa, Hala Gąsienicowa) were obtained from the Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, National Research Institute, 61 Podleśna str., 01-673 Warsaw. We thank the Chief Editor and anonymous reviewers for friendly, helpful and constructive criticism and remarks that greatly improved our manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Katarzyna J. Chwedorzewska.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 170 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Galera, H., Chwedorzewska, K.J. & Wódkiewicz, M. Response of Poa annua to extreme conditions: comparison of morphological traits between populations from cold and temperate climate conditions. Polar Biol 38, 1657–1666 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-015-1731-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-015-1731-y

Keywords

  • Annual bluegrass
  • Morphological diversity
  • Maritime Antarctic
  • Tatra
  • Biological expansion