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Abstract Detail

Reasons for Rarity? Exploring Acclimatory and Adaptive Constraints to Commonness

Wiegand, Thomas [1], Boyd, Jennifer [1], Rogers, Will [2], Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer [2], Anderson, Jill [3], Brzyski, Jessica [4], Baskauf, Carol [5].

Comparative phenotypic plasticity of rare Xyris tennesseensis and its common congener X. torta.

Environmental change accelerated by anthropogenic activity poses a particular threat to rare species. The ability of species to respond viably to such change in the short-term via acclimation may be influenced by their phenotypic plasticity. Xyris tennesseensis (Tennessee yellow-eyed grass) is endemic to wet, calcareous habitats that are becoming increasingly rare in its range within eight counties across Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Current threats to X. tennesseensis include timber harvesting, agriculture, and road maintenance, which can alter light, temperature, and water availability in its habitat. We compared phenotypic plasticity in growth and allocation traits of X. tennesseensis individuals to those of its common congener X. torta to contrasting light, temperature, and water availability in a growth chamber experiment. Across environmental conditions, X. tennesseensis exhibited greater survival and flowering than X. torta, but neither survival nor flowering were influenced by environmental differences in either species. Plasticity in response to light, temperature, and water availability was exhibited for traits related to allocation, but growth traits did not respond to levels of environmental treatments. Species differences in plasticity were limited to specific root length in response to light and water; in both cases, rare X. tennesseensis exhibited greater plasticity than X. torta.  The research reported in this presentation is supported with funding from the National Science Foundation.

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1 - University Of Tennessee At Chattanooga, Dept 2653, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37403, United States
2 - University Of Georgia, State Botanical Garden Of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Ave., Athens, GA, 30605, United States
3 - University of Georgia, Department of Genetics, 120 Green Street, Athens, GA, 30602, United States
4 - Seton Hill University, Biology, 1 Seton Hill Dr, Box 448F, Greensburg, PA, 15601, United States
5 - Biology, 681 Summer St., Clarksville, TN, 37040, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C06, Reasons for Rarity? Exploring Acclimatory and Adaptive Constraints to Commonness
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 4:30 PM(EDT)
Number: C06005
Abstract ID:795
Candidate for Awards:None

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