Event Title

The Utility Stomatal Pore Area as Proxy for Leaf Water-Use Efficiency

Mentor 1

David A Rogers

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

Understanding how plants can adapt to their environment is a major problem to be solved in ecology, particularly when those environments are changing rapidly in response to human activity. Scientists use these models to predict ecosystem responses to a wide variety of stimuli: a commercial development, prolonged drought conditions, and climate change. For example, the “worldwide leaf economics spectrum ” describes variation in leaf allocation patterns across the globe in response to differing growing environments. However, many of these traits are either difficult to quantify or difficult to observe at the community level. One such trait is the water-use efficiency of leaves and here we propose to use plasticity of stomatal density of woody dicots as a proxy for that trait. Therefore, we ask whether the density of stomata on a lamina is a plastic trait, and how it might vary as a function of the area of each gram of photosynthetic tissue on the leaf. These values will also be used to create a stand level index of stomatal density for a stand, equalized per species weighted by abundance. These values will then be related to the environmental drivers using historic and contemporary data community level data from the Wisconsin Plant Ecology Laboratory. To achieve this goal, several sites in southeastern Wisconsin were visited and leaf samples were taken from mature woody plants during the summers (June - October, during full leaf). These specimens were then taken the lab for processing. The leaves were photographed on a scanner, and peels of the undersides were taken using fingernail polish. The polish left an imprint of the stomata rich underside of the lamina, and each was photographed using a compound microscope and camera. The stomata could then be counted using imaging software ImageJ and Photoshop. At the present, all specimens are collected and photographed and stomatal density estimates are ongoing.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

The Utility Stomatal Pore Area as Proxy for Leaf Water-Use Efficiency

Union Wisconsin Room

Understanding how plants can adapt to their environment is a major problem to be solved in ecology, particularly when those environments are changing rapidly in response to human activity. Scientists use these models to predict ecosystem responses to a wide variety of stimuli: a commercial development, prolonged drought conditions, and climate change. For example, the “worldwide leaf economics spectrum ” describes variation in leaf allocation patterns across the globe in response to differing growing environments. However, many of these traits are either difficult to quantify or difficult to observe at the community level. One such trait is the water-use efficiency of leaves and here we propose to use plasticity of stomatal density of woody dicots as a proxy for that trait. Therefore, we ask whether the density of stomata on a lamina is a plastic trait, and how it might vary as a function of the area of each gram of photosynthetic tissue on the leaf. These values will also be used to create a stand level index of stomatal density for a stand, equalized per species weighted by abundance. These values will then be related to the environmental drivers using historic and contemporary data community level data from the Wisconsin Plant Ecology Laboratory. To achieve this goal, several sites in southeastern Wisconsin were visited and leaf samples were taken from mature woody plants during the summers (June - October, during full leaf). These specimens were then taken the lab for processing. The leaves were photographed on a scanner, and peels of the undersides were taken using fingernail polish. The polish left an imprint of the stomata rich underside of the lamina, and each was photographed using a compound microscope and camera. The stomata could then be counted using imaging software ImageJ and Photoshop. At the present, all specimens are collected and photographed and stomatal density estimates are ongoing.