THE IMPORTANCE OF INTRASPECIFIC GENETIC DIVERSITY FOR FUNCTIONAL TRAITS OF SCHOENOPLECTUS AMERICANUS IN THE CONTEXT OF WETLAND ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION
Intraspecific genetic variation of plant traits is hypothesized to be a driver of the high levels of multifunctionality in wetlands. Schoenoplectus americanus, a plant native to Great Salt Lake wetlands is crucial for the maintenance of ecosystem functions that support carbon sequestration and storage, primary production, and habitat and food provisioning for migratory birds. Our study examined the effect of intraspecific genetic diversity in the production of traits that promote multifunctionality in wetland ecosystems. We used a common garden experiment to measure trait variation (stem height, stem density, below ground biomass, fine branching root growth, and above and below ground carbon and nitrogen storage) within and among five genotypes of S. americanus collected from various locations throughout the Intermountain West. With the exception of the number of inflorescences, we found no significant difference among genotypes. Our results thus far conclude that intraspecific variation in S. americanus is not an important determinate of functional traits. Our results also do not support the hypothesis that intraspecific diversity could be a main driver of the high levels of multifunctionality in wetland ecosystems.
Rachel Chamberlain (Primary Presenter/Author), Utah State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Audree Provard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, email@example.com;
Karin Kettenring (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University , firstname.lastname@example.org;
Trisha Atwood (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, email@example.com;