Abstract Detail

The impact of climate change on plant physiology in natural and agricultural systems

Heyduk, Karolina [1], DeFalco, Lesley [2], Esque, Todd [2], McKain, Michael [4], Yoder, Jeremy [5], Smith, Christopher [6].

Joshua tree resiliency and plasticity in response to climate change.

Extreme weather events – including fire, heat, and hurricanes – in the past year have made it abundantly clear that we are in the midst of vast climate change. Historically, long-lived desert plants have not received the same degree of research to determine the extent of adaptation in the face of climate change, partly because many of these organisms are seemingly already adapted to some extremes, whether it is sunlight, temperatures, or lack of rainfall. In the Mojave desert, Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia and Y. jaegeriana) loom large on the landscape, but are imperiled by rising temperatures and a diminishing habitable range. To test the degree to which populations of Joshua tree are locally adapted and their ability to cope with warmer, drier environments, we conducted a common garden experiment in spring 2022. We sampled from source populations across the range of Y. brevifolia and Y. jaegeriana, germinated seeds in a greenhouse, and outplanted seedlings in early 2022. After an initial establishment period, seedlings were measured for growth, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll fluorescence, as well as water potentials and tissue for RNA sequencing. Our physiology data, combined with RNA-seq and genome resequencing, we will assess 1) the extent of local adaptation across populations to abiotic stressors and the underlying genomic loci and 2) the level of plasticity across populations as seen in common gardens. Results will inform conservation efforts and management of Joshua tree, as well as provide a better understanding on how long-lived desert species will fare under a changing climate.

1 - University Of Hawai'i, School Of Life Sciences, 1800 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, United States
2 - USGS, Western Ecological Research Center, Boulder City, NV, 89005, USA
3 - USGS, Western Ecological Research Center, Boulder City, NV, 89005, USA
4 - University Of Alabama, 411 Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487, United States
5 - California State University Northridge, Biology, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA, 91330-8303, USA, 8186772158
6 - Willamette University, Biology, 900 State Street, Department Of Biology, Salem, OR, 97301, United States

Local adaptation

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C1004
Abstract ID:781
Candidate for Awards:None

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