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Harrington, Aidan [1], Watts, Jacob [2], Yeh, Dean [1], Watkins, James [3].

Ecotypic variation in stress response of Polystichum munitum gametophytes under climate change.

Polystichum munitum is a key understory fern species in the Pacific coniferous forests of North America. The species plays an important role in coastal redwood ecosystems where it acts as an ecological filter that influences both terrestrial microclimate and redwood seed germination. Studies have shown that sporophyte distributions are closely linked to the fog regime ubiquitous to this ecosystem. Some models of climate change predict that fog will decrease and temperature will increase across the range of the species in the coming decades. Other studies suggest that the sporophyte stage is particularly sensitive to such changes in fog and temperature and may ultimately be threatened by climate change. However, the ecology of the gametophyte stage of this species is poorly known and we currently have no understanding of how this stage of the life cycle will respond to changing climate. Here we investigate the effects of light, temperature, and water stress on in vitro P. munitum gametophytes from populations along an aridity gradient from northern to southern California. Specifically, we examine the impact of stress on spore germination, gametophyte size, and physiological recovery. Overall, we find evidence for ecotypic variation across sites but that the variation in response is not closely linked to site-specific climate. We will discuss preliminary evidence of significant ecotypic variation in gametophyte stress response across this gradient and then consider the possible significance of our findings for the future of this species and the coastal redwood ecosystem.

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1 - Colgate University, Biology, 13 OAK DR, Hamilton, NY, 13346, United States
2 - Colgate University, CU Box X 5396 13 Oak Dr., Hamilton, NY, 13346, United States
3 - Colgate University, Department Of Biology, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY, 13346, United States

climate change
abiotic stress.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECOPH2, Ecophysiology II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM(EDT)
Number: ECOPH2014
Abstract ID:632
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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