Next Article in Journal
Tree Diversity Reduces Fungal Endophyte Richness and Diversity in a Large-Scale Temperate Forest Experiment
Previous Article in Journal
Argulus from the Pascagoula River, MS, USA, with an Emphasis on Those of the Threatened Gulf Sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi
Open AccessArticle

Predicting Leaf Trait Variability as a Functional Descriptor of the Effect of Climate Change in Three Perennial Grasses

Laboratory of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Arid Land of Tunisia (LEBIOMAT), University of Sfax, Faculty of Sciences, Sfax 3000, Tunisia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(12), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11120233
Received: 21 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
Aims of the study: The most important trends of the current climate variability is the scarcity of rains that affects arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to explore the variability of leaf functional traits by which grassland species survive and resist drought and to investigate the potential link between resource use efficiency and water scarcity resistance strategies of species. Methods: Three grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris (C4), Stipa parviflora and Stipa lagascae (C3)) were established in a randomized block consisting of eleven replications. The seedlings were kept under increasing levels of water stress. In addition to their functional leaf traits, the rate of water loss and dimensional shrinkage were also measured. Key Results: Thicker and denser leaves, with higher dry matter contents, low specific leaf area and great capacity of water retention are considered among the grasses’ strategies of dehydration avoidance. Significant differences between the means of the functional traits were obtained. Furthermore, strong correlations among leaf traits were also detected (Spearman’s r exceeding 0.8). Conclusions: The results provide evidence that the studied grasses respond differently to drought by exhibiting a range of interspecific functional strategies that may ameliorate the resilience of grassland species communities under extreme drought events. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; arid land; leaf functional traits; water stress; resource use strategies; Cenchrus ciliaris L.; Stipa parviflora Desf.; Stipa lagascae R. & Sch climate change; arid land; leaf functional traits; water stress; resource use strategies; Cenchrus ciliaris L.; Stipa parviflora Desf.; Stipa lagascae R. & Sch
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Hamdani, M.; Krichen, K.; Chaieb, M. Predicting Leaf Trait Variability as a Functional Descriptor of the Effect of Climate Change in Three Perennial Grasses. Diversity 2019, 11, 233.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop