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Morphological and Physiological Leaf Adaptations to Seasonal and Diurnal Abiotic Stress for Two Barrier Island Sand Dune Species

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title
Morphological and Physiological Leaf Adaptations to Seasonal and Diurnal Abiotic Stress for Two Barrier Island Sand Dune Species
author
Joesting, Heather M.
abstract
The coastal barrier island ecosystem provides protection to the coastline from storm and wave energy associated with extreme episodic storm events, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and nor'easters. In addition, barrier islands produce, protect, and maintain inlets, bays, estuaries, wetlands, and salt marshes, which are highly productive areas in terms of net primary production and provide important ecosystem services to the coastline. Many barrier islands have become urbanized centers (e.g. Miami, FL), with approximately half of the U.S. population residing in the coastal zone. The combined effect of increased urban development and predicted increases in tropical cyclone activity and sea level rise associated with global climate change places barrier islands and their fauna and flora at great risk. The sand dune ridge and swale system present on many barrier islands function as a buffer during coastal storm events, and native sand dune vegetation play a critical role in the formation and maintenance of these systems. The creation and maintenance of artificial dune systems using native sand dune species will be an important strategy in future coastal management plans, functioning to provide protection to beachfront property while maintaining natural habitat and sustaining ecosystem processes. Information regarding the leaf morphological and physiological adaptations of native dune vegetation to seasonal and diurnal abiotic stress will be essential in artificial dune construction to maintain optimal growth conditions for native species. The aim of this dissertation research was to explore these adaptations for two common sand dune species during the growth season on a North Carolina barrier island.
subject
Abiotic stress
Incident sunlight
Leaf orientation
Leaf structure
Photosynthetic gas exchange
Sand dune
contributor
Smith, William K (committee chair)
Dimock, Ronald V (committee member)
Greaver, Tara L (committee member)
Kron, Kathleen A (committee member)
Silman, Miles R (committee member)
date
2012-01-18T09:35:25Z (accessioned)
2012-01-18T09:35:25Z (available)
2011 (issued)
degree
Biology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/36417 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Dissertation

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