Relationships between reproductive output, morpho-physiological traits and life span in Lesquerella (Brassicaceae)

This research evaluates the reproductive output and ecophysiological traits in annual and perennial Lesquerella (commonly known as Bladderpod). The plants showed a gradation in traits that provide drought-tolerance or high productivity. Perennial species showed drought tolerance traits whereas other species showed intermediate values of traits, related with productivity and drought tolerance.

Author: Luciana González-Paleo, Damián Ravetta
 March 2011
Affiliation: Industrial Crops and Products
Abstract: The development of perennial industrial crops could contribute to increase agriculture sustainability and yield stability in arid environments. Since perennial plants allocate resources preferentially to perpetuation and to structural and functional characters that provide drought tolerance, they tend to have lower reproductive output (yield) than their congeneric annuals. Four species of Lesquerella native to arid regions were evaluated to understand the relationships between reproduction, drought tolerance, and their association with the plant’s life span. We assessed the following set of characters (defined as plant strategies): phenology, gas exchange, specific leaf area, leaf area ratio, total biomass and biomass allocation. Annual (Lesquerella gracilis and Lesquerella angustifolia) and perennial (Lesquerella mendocina and Lesquerella pinetorum) species were compared under water limiting conditions. Within this set of species differences in structural and functional characters were observed… Read full research article here.

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