PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Plants are routinely subjected to multiple environmental stressors, and the ability to respond to these stressors determines species survival and ecological breadth. Despite stressors such as wind and dust significantly influencing plant development, morphology, and chemistry, the combined influence of these factors is yet to be investigated.
METHODS: We used a manipulative glasshouse approach to compare the morphological, physiological, and biomechanical responses of Eucalyptus tereticornis to the independent and combined effects of wind and dust.
KEY RESULTS: Wind decreased both E. tereticornis height and stem flexural stiffness. Additionally, wind had no effect on leaf physiology, nor did dust have any significant effect on any of the traits measured.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that wind and dust in combination may have an additive effect on several plant traits and provide new insight into the effects and importance of studying wind, dust, and different stress combinations.
- Flexural stiffness
- Leaf biomass
- Stem diameter