Abstract Detail

Lightning Talks – Germinating Ideas

Nguyen, Peter [1], Luong, Justin [2], Meyer, Rachel [3], Loik, Michael [4].

Studying Drought and Warming on Lupinus nipomensis Survival and Reproduction through Greenhouse and eDNA Techniques .

Climate change will increase drought and heatwave frequency and duration in California, which can negatively affect plant growth and hinder rare plant reintroduction efforts. Lupinus nipomensis is a plant endemic to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, located in southern San Luis Obispo County. Lupinus nipomensis is a California state and federally listed endangered species that has a variable interannual population. To help inform conservation efforts, we are interested in the effect of water and temperature stresses on growth and reproduction. Furthermore, Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a newer concentration in genomics and conservation where environmental samples such as soil, air, or water are gathered to see what organisms are present in the environment. One easy community to detect with eDNA – the microbes (bacteria, fungi, amoebas, and other small organisms – play key roles in structuring plant communities and in assisting the plant in accessing water. We hypothesize that L. nipomensis will have reduced seed production and photosynthesis when experiencing drought and warming, and an interactive effect between drought and warming will further impact L. nipomensis. We expect that with eDNA, we can characterize important microbial communities that further assist with the recovery of L. nipomensis. We grew 80 Lupinus nipomensis individuals in separate containers and exposed them to four treatments: drought, warming, drought and warming, and a control. Drought was imposed by withholding water, and plants were re-watered once they reached a threshold stomatal conductance (0.05 mol m-2 s-1). Warming was applied using a polycarbonate cube and heat lamp, which increased the average temperatures by 4 degrees. We measured growth, seed production, photosynthetic rates, water use efficiency, and specific leaf area to assess the role of increased drought and elevated temperatures on L. nipomensis growth geared for conservation efforts. We are measuring microbial communities using eDNA from drought and well-watered experimental plants and comparing them to the microbial communities from soils in similar conditions from a long-term field experiment using bioinformatics. Our initial results indicate that plants experiencing warming showed higher levels of stomatal conductance, even in drought conditions compared to their non-warming counterparts. Our work will provide recommendations to help with the restoration and protection of L. nipomensis, as the US Fish and Wildlife Service is actively working towards recovery.

Related Links:
Cal eDNA Website
EFI Frontier Fellows Program

1 - University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA
2 - University Of California Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, United States
3 - UCSC, EEB, 130 McAllister Way, Coastal Biology Building Rm 242, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060, United States
4 - University Of California, Santa Cruz, University Of California, University Of California, ENVS, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, United States

species conservation
Evolutionary biology
Plant Growth
endangered species.

Presentation Type: Germinating Ideas Lightning Talk
Number: LT2013
Abstract ID:677
Candidate for Awards:Phytochemical Best Poster Award

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