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Deschampsia cespitosa and soil acidification: general and trait-specific responses to acid and aluminium stress in a solution experiment

Göransson, Pernilla LU ; Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula LU and Andersson, Stefan LU (2011) In Nordic Journal of Botany 29(1). p.97-104
Abstract
Genetically based adaptation and phenotypic plasticity represent important means of coping with natural or human-induced increases in soil acidity. In the present study, we examined the role of phenotypic plasticity in the grass Deschampsia cespitosa by testing for general and trait-specific responses to acid and aluminium (Al) stress. We sampled tussocks (genets) from sites in southern Sweden differing in their exposure to acid deposition, and quantified the performance of each genet under low pH and high Al levels in a solution experiment using the length and biomass of both shoots and roots as response variables. In agreement with results from a previous solution experiment, the overall performance (expressed as total biomass) declined... (More)
Genetically based adaptation and phenotypic plasticity represent important means of coping with natural or human-induced increases in soil acidity. In the present study, we examined the role of phenotypic plasticity in the grass Deschampsia cespitosa by testing for general and trait-specific responses to acid and aluminium (Al) stress. We sampled tussocks (genets) from sites in southern Sweden differing in their exposure to acid deposition, and quantified the performance of each genet under low pH and high Al levels in a solution experiment using the length and biomass of both shoots and roots as response variables. In agreement with results from a previous solution experiment, the overall performance (expressed as total biomass) declined under acid and Al stress, and there was no evidence for local genetic adaptation with respect to acidity. Three Oland populations showed signs of being stimulated by high Al levels, despite originating from relatively basic soils. We observed a significant increase in root length under high Al levels and hypothesize that this response may be adaptive in the natural soil environment, allowing growing roots to "escape" patches of soil with toxic concentrations of this element. Our results for D. cespitosa indicate that phenotypic plasticity has the potential to mitigate the negative effects of soil acidity in this species. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nordic Journal of Botany
volume
29
issue
1
pages
97 - 104
publisher
Board of the Nordic Journal of Botany
external identifiers
  • wos:000287667300015
  • scopus:79951945114
ISSN
0107-055X
DOI
10.1111/j.1756-1051.2010.00793.x
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
50462498-80d1-4f30-9487-c5ff53f1431e (old id 1872602)
date added to LUP
2011-04-18 13:06:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:11:28
@article{50462498-80d1-4f30-9487-c5ff53f1431e,
  abstract     = {Genetically based adaptation and phenotypic plasticity represent important means of coping with natural or human-induced increases in soil acidity. In the present study, we examined the role of phenotypic plasticity in the grass Deschampsia cespitosa by testing for general and trait-specific responses to acid and aluminium (Al) stress. We sampled tussocks (genets) from sites in southern Sweden differing in their exposure to acid deposition, and quantified the performance of each genet under low pH and high Al levels in a solution experiment using the length and biomass of both shoots and roots as response variables. In agreement with results from a previous solution experiment, the overall performance (expressed as total biomass) declined under acid and Al stress, and there was no evidence for local genetic adaptation with respect to acidity. Three Oland populations showed signs of being stimulated by high Al levels, despite originating from relatively basic soils. We observed a significant increase in root length under high Al levels and hypothesize that this response may be adaptive in the natural soil environment, allowing growing roots to "escape" patches of soil with toxic concentrations of this element. Our results for D. cespitosa indicate that phenotypic plasticity has the potential to mitigate the negative effects of soil acidity in this species.},
  author       = {Göransson, Pernilla and Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula and Andersson, Stefan},
  issn         = {0107-055X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {97--104},
  publisher    = {Board of the Nordic Journal of Botany},
  series       = {Nordic Journal of Botany},
  title        = {Deschampsia cespitosa and soil acidification: general and trait-specific responses to acid and aluminium stress in a solution experiment},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-1051.2010.00793.x},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2011},
}