Characteristics of Encelia species differing in leaf reflectance and transpiration rate under common garden conditions
The performance of coastal and desert species of Encelia (Asteraceae) were evaluated through common garden growth observations. The obectives of the study were to evaluate the roles of leaf features, thought to be of adaptive value (increased leaf reflectance and/or transpirational cooling), on plant growth in the hot, arid, desert garden versus their impact on growth under cooler, relatively more moist coastal garden conditions. E. californica native to the coast of southern California and E. farinosa, and E. frutescens, interior desert species, were grown in common gardens at coastal (Irvine, California) and interior (Phoenix, Arizona) sites under both irrigated and natural conditions. Although all species survived in both gardens during the two and a half year study period, there were large differences in their sizes. In the desert garden, leaf conductance and leaf water potential were both lower than at the coastal site. E. californica shrubs were leafless much of the time under natural conditions in the desert garden and had the smallest size there as well. Under natural conditions, E. farinosa, with its reflective leaf surface, was able to maintain lower leaf temperatures and attained a large size than the other two species in the desert garden. The green-leaved species (E. californica and E. frutescens) were not able to maintain leaves into the drought periods in the desert garden, with the exception of the irrigated E. frutescens which did maintain its leaf area if provided with supplemental watering to maintain transpirational leaf cooling. In the coastal garden, all species survived and there were few clear differences in the physiological characteristics among the three species. E. californica, the coastal native, attained a larger size in the coastal garden when compared with either of the two desert species.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - agronomie. sciences du sol et productions vegetales
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics