Physiological and anatomical trait variability of dominant C4 grasses

TitlePhysiological and anatomical trait variability of dominant C4 grasses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBachle, S, Nippert, JB
JournalActa Oecologica
Pagination14 - 20
Accession NumberKNZ001926

Climate variability is a key driver of physiological responses in common grass species in grasslands of North America. Differences in microanatomical traits among coexisting species may influence physiological responses to climate variability over large geographic scales. The goal of this research was to determine leaf-level physiological and microanatomical trait variability among four dominant C4 grass species across a natural precipitation gradient. Physiological traits were observed to vary significantly across the gradient with greater variability than microanatomical traits. Microanatomical traits were shown to predict physiological responses in A. gerardii and P. virgatum, but the nature of the relationships varied between species. These results illustrate that microanatomical and physiological traits vary across a precipitation gradient, there are clear linkages between microanatomy and physiology in grass species, and this evidence underscores the need for further investigation using phylogenetically diverse assemblages.