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Abstract Detail


Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Campbell, Leslie [1], Stieha, Christopher [1], McLetchie, Nicholas [1].

Do Previous Experiences Affect Morphological Responses?

ENVIRONMENTAL variation can be related to phenotypic changes in a plant. Plants subjected to one condition and transferred to another are expected to morphologically change to the new condition. We tested whether individual's rate of change from the first to the second condition depended on previous exposure to the second condition. That is, can plants retain information from a previous environmental experience? We used the liverwort, Conocephalum conicum, that has varying morphologies depending on environmental conditions to answer this question. We used the greenhouse (wide thalloid morphology) and growth chamber (narrow thalloid morphology) as the two environmental conditions. Plants spent 10 weeks in one of these two conditions. A subset of these plants (referred to as the experienced group of plants, EG) were switched between the conditions after 6 weeks. The EG along with an inexperienced group of plants was then transferred to the initial environmental condition of the EG. Twenty female and 30 male field-collected isolates were represented once in each experimental unit (control, experience and inexperience by two conditions). Thallus width was measured once every third day for 8 weeks. Experienced plants did not change thallus width faster than non-experienced plants, suggesting that six weeks in a common environment removes much of the initial environmental effects. In the controls, there was a tendency for males to respond faster than females.


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1 - University of Kentucky, Department of Biological Sciences, 101 Morgan Bld, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0225, USA

Keywords:
Conocephalum conicum
plasticity
liverworts.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21-10
Location: 304/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 4:15 PM
Abstract ID:583


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