Sabo, Jessica , Roshko, Benjamin , Watkins, Jr., James E. .
Understanding abiotic stress tolerance in fern gametophytes and sporophytes.
Mounting evidence suggests that ferns act as important ecological filters in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. In such systems, ferns often exhibit control over overstory regeneration and may act as ecosystem engineers. Therefore shifts in fern density and diversity could result in changes in forest level community composition. To date, we know little regarding the range of abiotic stress tolerance in fern gametophtyes and sporophytes. The goal of this work is to examine the influence of abiotic stress, specifically light and water stress, on the physiology of fern gametophytes and sporophtyes. We examined changes in quantum yield, maximum photosynthetic and respirations rates, and chlorophyll fluorescence within and between gametophtyes and sporophtyes of multiple species from xeric and mesic habitats. Our preliminary results show that there are significant differences in tolerance to light stress in gametophtyes and sporophtyes; with sporophtyes exhibiting a greater degree of tolerance compared to gametophytes. Data on water stress are forthcoming. Understanding how abiotic stress impacts ferns can help us evaluate how the group could respond to conditions of global change. This in turn could be used to understand changes in regeneration of temperate and tropical forests.
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1 - Colgate University, Department of Biology, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY, 13346, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM