Geothermal alteration fields are very prohibitive environments, limiting vegetation establishment and growth. In the present study, the ecological specialisation of the pioneer plant Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull was investigated, assuming that its ability to survive in geothermal habitats derives from a fine regulation of morpho-physiological traits. Mature leaves of C. vulgaris were sampled from plants close to a fumarole (near), and from plants living at a distance of some metres (intermediate) or ~1 km (distant) from a fumarole. Along the sampling sites, a gradient of soil-pH and temperature values occurred, with near plants facing the highest soil temperature and the lowest soil pH. A regulation of constitutive morpho-anatomical and physiological traits in response to different stress levels occurred. A progressive reduction of leaf exposed surface and hair density and mucilages, combined with a gradual increase of oxidative stress levels, of phenols and ascorbate, was observed from distant to near plants. Near plants showed an increase in stomatal density and in lignin and cuticle thickness, and the highest activity of ascorbate peroxidase. Except for high glutathione concentrations, in distant plants antioxidant machinery was consistently less active. The apparent morphological and physiological plasticity demonstrated in the present research contributed to the capability of these plants to tolerate the prohibitive, highly changing environmental conditions of the geothermal field.

Morpho-physiological plasticity contributes to tolerance of Calluna vulgaris in an active geothermal field

BOTTEGA, STEFANIA;RUFFINI CASTIGLIONE, MONICA;TAGLIASACCHI, ANNA MARIA;GRILLI, ISA;SPANO', CARMELINA
2013

Abstract

Geothermal alteration fields are very prohibitive environments, limiting vegetation establishment and growth. In the present study, the ecological specialisation of the pioneer plant Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull was investigated, assuming that its ability to survive in geothermal habitats derives from a fine regulation of morpho-physiological traits. Mature leaves of C. vulgaris were sampled from plants close to a fumarole (near), and from plants living at a distance of some metres (intermediate) or ~1 km (distant) from a fumarole. Along the sampling sites, a gradient of soil-pH and temperature values occurred, with near plants facing the highest soil temperature and the lowest soil pH. A regulation of constitutive morpho-anatomical and physiological traits in response to different stress levels occurred. A progressive reduction of leaf exposed surface and hair density and mucilages, combined with a gradual increase of oxidative stress levels, of phenols and ascorbate, was observed from distant to near plants. Near plants showed an increase in stomatal density and in lignin and cuticle thickness, and the highest activity of ascorbate peroxidase. Except for high glutathione concentrations, in distant plants antioxidant machinery was consistently less active. The apparent morphological and physiological plasticity demonstrated in the present research contributed to the capability of these plants to tolerate the prohibitive, highly changing environmental conditions of the geothermal field.
Bartoli, G; Bottega, Stefania; Forino, Lmc; RUFFINI CASTIGLIONE, Monica; Tagliasacchi, ANNA MARIA; Grilli, Isa; Spano', Carmelina
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Calluna 2013.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: versione post-print articolo
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 1.57 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.57 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Bartoli_AJB-1.pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Descrizione: versione editoriale
Tipologia: Versione finale editoriale
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 854.87 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
854.87 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/225557
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 7
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 6
social impact