Extending the osmometer method for assessing drought tolerance in herbaceous species
Community-scale surveys of plant drought tolerance are essential for understanding semi-arid ecosystems and community responses to climate change. Thus, there is a need for an accurate and rapid methodology for assessing drought tolerance strategies across plant functional types. The osmometer method for predicting leaf osmotic potential at full turgor (πo), a key metric of leaf-level drought tolerance, has resulted in a 50-fold increase in the measurement speed of this trait; however, the applicability of this method has only been tested in woody species and crops. Here, we assess the osmometer method for use in herbaceous grassland species and test whether πo is an appropriate plant trait for understanding drought strategies of herbaceous species as well as species distributions along climate gradients. Our model for predicting leaf turgor loss point (πTLP) from πo (πTLP = 0.80πo–0.845) is nearly identical to the model previously presented for woody species. Additionally, πo was highly correlated with πTLP for graminoid species (πtlp = 0.944πo–0.611; r2 = 0.96), a plant functional group previously flagged for having the potential to cause erroneous measurements when using an osmometer. We report that πo, measured with an osmometer, is well correlated with other traits linked to drought tolerance (namely, leaf dry matter content and leaf vulnerability to hydraulic failure) as well as climate extremes linked to water availability. The validation of the osmometer method in an herb-dominated ecosystem paves the way for rapid community-scale surveys of drought tolerance across plant functional groups, which could improve trait-based predictions of ecosystem responses to climate change.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00442-019-04336-w
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.