Jeff Corbin, Geographical differences in water utilization by Nassella pulchra

Nassella pulchra; NRS ArchiveI will sample soil and Nassella pulchra roots at Quail Ridge and Jepson Prairie, as part of a comparison of water use by coastal vs. inland populations of Nassella. Briefly, I am going to use stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in the plant roots to determine whether Nassella is getting its water from deep or shallow water sources. Its part of a comparison with my coastal sites that get lots of fog input - my expectation is that the coastal plants are using shallow water from fog, while the inland ones rely on deeper water. Sampling is very simple. I will take 3-4 soil cores at each site and take the soil back to Berkeley. The cores would be 5cm wide by 1m deep. I will also collect root tissue from 3-4 Nassella individuals in the same area. The root tissue harvest would not kill the plant, but instead would take the basal culms + roots of approximately 10% of the basal area of a large individual. These methods would be repeated at three other sites along a gradient from inland (= Qauil Ridge) to the coast. I would take great care to avoid disturbances to plants or animals in the reserve.

Photo Credits: Title, Research, Treefrog (Mike Benard), Nassella Pulchara (NRS Archive)

This page last updated: July 5, 2005  

Contact: Dr. Virginia Boucher
John Muir Institute of the Environment
109 The Barn, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
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