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A link between plant stress and hydrodynamics? Indications from a freshwater macrophyte

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journal contribution
posted on 12.10.2021, 12:36 by Davide Vettori, S Niewerth, J Aberle, Stephen RiceStephen Rice
Live plants are increasingly used in hydraulic laboratories to investigate flow-vegetation interactions. In such experiments, they are often exposed to stressful handling and storage that can cause strong physiological responses and modifications in plant biomechanics. Little is known about the potential effect of these impacts on the performance of plants during hydraulic experiments. In this multidisciplinary study with a freshwater macrophyte (Potamogeton natans) we assess whether the duration and the conditions in which plants are stored in a laboratory prior to testing can impact plant stress, biomechanics and hydrodynamics, and quantify this impact. Plant stress was evaluated using chlorophyll fluorescence analysis (and the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II as specific indicator). Plant hydrodynamics were assessed using the drag coefficient calculated from drag force measurements at two flow scenarios. The results show that different plant handling/storage procedures can have a significant impact on plant hydrodynamics even within a short time frame, with a variation of the mean drag coefficient of approximately 30% across groups, which is comparable to the variation found across different species of freshwater macrophytes in previous studies. Plants with the highest level of stress were also characterized by the lowest drag coefficient across the groups considered, suggesting a potential link between plant stress and hydrodynamics.

Funding

European Commission (EC). Grant Number: 654110

Open access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Water Resources Research

Volume

57

Issue

9

Publisher

Wiley, AGU

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

17/08/2021

Publication date

2021-09-09

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0043-1397

eISSN

1944-7973

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Stephen Rice. Deposit date: 12 October 2021

Article number

e2021WR029618