Dr. Robert Skelton, Postdoctoral Researcher
Dept. of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Topic: Plant hydraulic traits and drought responses: insights from three continents
Droughts cause major damage to plant communities, and reduce primary productivity. Since maintaining hydration to a plant’s leaves is essential to maintaining cellular functioning, plant hydraulics are a major determinant of crop growth and yield, and mediate how plants die during drought. Yet our appreciation of these crucial factors is hindered by an incomplete understanding of how and when water transport through xylem breaks down, and what the implications are for plant functionality. I will present insights into key processes involved in plant response to drought, drawing upon detailed physiological observations from diverse plant communities occurring in South Africa, Australia and North America. My goal is to explore the diversity of mechanisms underlying plant hydraulic function and leaf productivity, and how these influence plant water management and growth in diverse natural plant communities.
Host Lab: Holbrook