First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Loretta Marie BorghiFollow

Mentor/s

Dr. LaTina Steele

Participation Type

Poster

Abstract

Are plant size differences in a restored and a natural Spartina alterniflora marsh in Connecticut driven by genetics or environment?

Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in marshes lessens erosion and provides habitat for many species, making efforts to restore degraded marshes critical for coastal areas. Restored marshes often have different plant heights or densities than naturally occurring marshes, due to genetics, environmental factors, or both. This study investigated the role of genetic and environmental factors in controlling differences in S. alterniflora height and diameter at a restored marsh in Stratford, Connecticut and a natural marsh in Milford, Connecticut. The Stratford marsh was restored by planting S. alterniflora plugs from a nursery, making them genetically distinct from plants in the natural marsh. A reciprocal transplant experiment was performed where 10 S. alterniflora cores from Stratford were planted at Milford and vice versa. Control cores from the original site were planted 1-m from the transplanted cores. The number of stems, stem heights, and stem diameters were measured from each core within two days of planting and again after one, two, and four months. Leaf samples for genetic analysis were collected from each core and areas at least 2-m from the cores. Data analysis is underway. We expect to see shorter stems with smaller diameters in plants originating from Stratford regardless of planting site.

College and Major available

Coastal & Marine Science, Philosophy

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

21FABI390L

Location

Digital Commons & West Campus West Building

Start Day/Time

4-29-2022 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-29-2022 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Loretta Borghi, Major: Coastal Marine Science and Philosophy, Minor: Honors 2024

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Apr 29th, 1:00 PM Apr 29th, 4:00 PM

Are Plant Size Differences in a Restored and a Natural Spartina alterniflora Marsh in Connecticut driven by Genetics or Environment?

Digital Commons & West Campus West Building

Are plant size differences in a restored and a natural Spartina alterniflora marsh in Connecticut driven by genetics or environment?

Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in marshes lessens erosion and provides habitat for many species, making efforts to restore degraded marshes critical for coastal areas. Restored marshes often have different plant heights or densities than naturally occurring marshes, due to genetics, environmental factors, or both. This study investigated the role of genetic and environmental factors in controlling differences in S. alterniflora height and diameter at a restored marsh in Stratford, Connecticut and a natural marsh in Milford, Connecticut. The Stratford marsh was restored by planting S. alterniflora plugs from a nursery, making them genetically distinct from plants in the natural marsh. A reciprocal transplant experiment was performed where 10 S. alterniflora cores from Stratford were planted at Milford and vice versa. Control cores from the original site were planted 1-m from the transplanted cores. The number of stems, stem heights, and stem diameters were measured from each core within two days of planting and again after one, two, and four months. Leaf samples for genetic analysis were collected from each core and areas at least 2-m from the cores. Data analysis is underway. We expect to see shorter stems with smaller diameters in plants originating from Stratford regardless of planting site.

 

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