Global climate change may act as a potent agent of natural selection within species with Mediterranean mountain ecosystems being particularly vulnerable. The aim of this research was to analyze whether the phenotypic plasticity of Sesleria nitida Ten. could be indicative of its future adaptive capability to global warming. Morphological, anatomical, and physiological leaf traits of two populations ofS. nitida growing at different altitudes on Mount Terminillo (Italy) were analyzed. The results showed that leaf mass per unit leaf area, leaf tissue density, and total leaf thickness were 19, 3, and 31% higher in leaves from the population growing at 1,895 m a.s.l. (B site) than in leaves from the population growing at 1,100 m a.s.l. (A site), respectively. Net photosynthetic rate (PN) and respiration rate (RD) peaked in June in both A and B leaves [9.4 ± 1.3 µmol(CO2) m–2 s–1 and 2.9 ± 0.9 µmol(CO2) m–2 s–1, respectively] when mean air temperature was 16 ± 2°C. RD/PN was higher in B than in A leaves (0.35 ± 0.07 and 0.21 ± 0.03, respectively, mean of the study period). The mean plasticity index (PI = 0.24, mean of morphological, anatomical, and physiological leaf traits) reflected S. nitida adaptability to the environmental stress conditions at different altitudes on Mount Terminillo. Moreover, the leaf key traits of the two populations can be used to monitor wild populations over a long term in response to global change.

Leaf trait variation in Sesleria nitida growing at different altitudes in the Central Apennines.

FRATTAROLI, Anna Rita;
2014-01-01

Abstract

Global climate change may act as a potent agent of natural selection within species with Mediterranean mountain ecosystems being particularly vulnerable. The aim of this research was to analyze whether the phenotypic plasticity of Sesleria nitida Ten. could be indicative of its future adaptive capability to global warming. Morphological, anatomical, and physiological leaf traits of two populations ofS. nitida growing at different altitudes on Mount Terminillo (Italy) were analyzed. The results showed that leaf mass per unit leaf area, leaf tissue density, and total leaf thickness were 19, 3, and 31% higher in leaves from the population growing at 1,895 m a.s.l. (B site) than in leaves from the population growing at 1,100 m a.s.l. (A site), respectively. Net photosynthetic rate (PN) and respiration rate (RD) peaked in June in both A and B leaves [9.4 ± 1.3 µmol(CO2) m–2 s–1 and 2.9 ± 0.9 µmol(CO2) m–2 s–1, respectively] when mean air temperature was 16 ± 2°C. RD/PN was higher in B than in A leaves (0.35 ± 0.07 and 0.21 ± 0.03, respectively, mean of the study period). The mean plasticity index (PI = 0.24, mean of morphological, anatomical, and physiological leaf traits) reflected S. nitida adaptability to the environmental stress conditions at different altitudes on Mount Terminillo. Moreover, the leaf key traits of the two populations can be used to monitor wild populations over a long term in response to global change.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/16280
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