Abstract Detail

Lightning Talks – Germinating Ideas

Mahajan, Isha [1], Wagner, Jenn [1], Lenny, Kouwenburg [1].

Light induced changes in leaf shape and epidermal cells in Platanus occidentalis.

Plants can adapt to the physical conditions of the environment in which they grow. These physical conditions include temperature, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and light level. It has been observed that leaves grown under warmer conditions tend to be larger with smooth margins and drip tips, while under cooler and drier conditions leaves will be smaller and toothed. It has also been documented that some leaves will form bigger leaves with larger and wavier epidermal cells when grown under low light conditions. These characteristics, if recorded in the fossil record, can be used together to recreate environments from earth’s history. In 2008, an experiment was conducted to study how differences in light level affect leaf size, shape, stomatal and epidermal cell patterning, and other leaf traits. This experiment used growth chambers to maintain controlled settings for growth of Platanus occidentalis specimens. Five plants were grown under high light levels and another five plants were grown under low light levels.  The growth chambers controlled for water availability, CO2 levels, low and high light levels, temperature, and day length. The data being collected are leaf length, leaf width, petiole width, smallest polygon area, leaf area, leaf mass per area (LMA), number of teeth, number of major secondary veins, undulation index (UI), stomatal density (SD), stomatal index (SI), cell area, stomatal characteristics (including guard-cell width, guard-cell length, and pore length), and leaf isotope composition (δ13C, δ15N). Preliminary results suggest higher LMA, lower UI, and higher SD values for all species grown under higher light levels. Stomatal characteristic size seemed to vary more under high light conditions, while SI was not significantly different between the high and low light specimens. Studying how plants grow in response to their environment can help further the understanding of leaf economics, as well as help paleontologists structure future paleoecology proxies.

1 - University of California - Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology, Valley Life Sciences Building, #3140, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3140, USA

Epidermal morphology
leaf mass per area
stomtal index
light regulation.

Presentation Type: Germinating Ideas Lightning Talk
Number: LT2020
Abstract ID:988
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved