Abstract Detail


Osterday, Lilly [1], Madsen, Kathleen [2], Schenk, John [2].

Is the Reproductive Success of Plants Influenced by Gypsum?

Soil is a key component of a plant’s environment, so when soil contains gypsum, a mineral that creates stressful growing conditions, is the reproductive success of the plant affected? Gypsum (CaSO4 2H2O) is a mineral that naturally occurs in some soils. Due to the chemical composition, gypsum soils are nutritionally impoverished and poor at water retention. Despite these restrictive properties, gypsum still houses a wide array of endemic species. To investigate how the reproductive success of plants is affected by gypsum, we collected and analyzed fruit from Larrea tridentata ((DC.) Coville). Thirty individual fruits were gathered from all L. tridentata along a 180 m transect from gypsum to non-gypsum soil. To measure reproductive success, we counted the number of seeds per fruit and mass of each fruit collected. Measurements were compared across the transect using linear regressions. The results of this study show that gypsum does not affect the number of seeds produced per fruit but does have a significant effect on the mass of the fruit. We found that the further off gypsum plants are, the greater the mass of the fruit.

1 - Ohio University, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, 22 Richland Ave., 401 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, USA
2 - Ohio University, Department Of Environmental And Plant Biology, 22 Richland Ave., 401 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, United States

Larrea tridentata
Southwest USA
Chihuahuan Desert

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC004
Abstract ID:511
Candidate for Awards:None

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