Borer, Catherine H. , Head, Lisha , Leslie, Rachel .
Calcium partitioning and physiological availability in the foliage of flowering dogwood.
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.) is an important tree species that is thought to enhance site soil calcium (Ca) availability through the high Ca content and rapid decomposition of its leaf litter. Ca is an essential macronutrient in plants and is an important component of many cellular structures and physiological processes. It acts as an intracellular second messenger in response to numerous environmental signals and can help plants sense and respond to fungal infections. We have conducted a study assessing the foliage from flowering dogwood trees, to understand the patterns of foliar Ca partitioning and sequestration, which can substantially impact Ca physiology at the cellular level. Previous research has established that analyses of total foliar Ca concentrations in foliage from red spruce trees (Picea rubens Sarg.) are frequently not indicative of the true physiological Ca status of a plant. Sequential foliar extractions have demonstrated that Ca preferentially accrues to labile and physiologically active forms at low total foliar Ca concentrations, in the foliage from mature red spruce trees. At higher total foliar Ca concentrations, substantial quantities of minimally soluble Ca also accumulate in the foliage. This inducible chemical sequestration of Ca occurs only within the documented foliar Ca sufficiency range for this species. We will describe the patterns of Ca partitioning in the foliage of flowering dogwood trees growing at a site in northwest GA. We will also discuss the ecological relevance of foliar Ca partitioning, and the possible implications associated with the decline resulting from dogwood anthracnose, an invasive disease caused by the fungus Discula destructiva.
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1 - Berry College, Biology, P.O. Box 490430, Mount Berry, GA, 30149, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 2:30 PM