A link between plant stress and hydrodynamics? Indications from a freshwater macrophyte
journal contributionposted 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.
European Commission (EC). Grant Number: 654110
Open access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Geography and Environment