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Abstract Detail

Physiology & Ecophysiology

Schaub, Eileen [1], Mulder, Christa [2], Diggle, Pamela [3].

Baked Alaska: temperature effects on development and flowering phenology at high latitudes.

Phenological shifts are a well-documented response to climate change. That many taxa are flowering early is well-known to researchers and the general public alike. However, a significant number of species exhibit delayed flowering, a pattern inconsistent with known physiological controls on flowering. We have observed delayed flowering of several shrubs at high latitudes, where the magnitude of temperature increase is predicted to be far more pronounced than in temperate regions. The harsh conditions in these environments, which restrict the growing season to a narrow window of suitable temperature and light levels, make changes in phenology a matter of particular concern. Moreover, because the food resources provided by these plants are crucial for pollinators, frugivores, and human beings, changing phenologies can have profound consequences for community dynamics.
Flowering plants in high latitudes preform flowers a year or more in advance of anthesis. The primordia develop throughout the summer and then enter dormancy over the winter. The next spring, primordia complete development and open. Although this utilization of multiple growing seasons is universal in high latitudes, the effects of temperature on this lengthy developmental trajectory are still unknown.
To understand the effects of increased temperature on floral development, we are examining Vaccinium vitis-idaea in boreal forests around Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. V. vitis-idaea, also known as lowbush cranberry or lingonberry, is found in warm, white-spruce forests and cooler black-spruce forests. We take advantage of this broad distribution to examine the effect of temperature on development. Floral primordia were collected over the entire growing season from multiple sites that differ in temperature. We relate average developmental stage of these buds to the average temperature of the collection date (recorded by data loggers) and ask whether higher temperature affects time of organ initiation, rate of organogenesis or expansion, and the timing of dormancy. By determining the effects of temperature on development, we can project phenological changes under future warming.

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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT, 06268, USA
2 - University of Alaska Fairbanks, Biology and Wildlife, Fairbanks, AK, USA
3 - University Of Connecticut, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, Storrs, CT, 6269, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 39, Ecophysiology
Location: 114/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 39007
Abstract ID:730
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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