A collaborative project supported by the US National Science Foundation through the Dimensions in Biodiversity Program
The Stark and Dean-Coe Labs are testing how Syntrichia species respond to desiccation stress using a suite of factors such as rate of drying and duration dry.
Ecophysiology of Syntrichia Student Training Week, July 2017
Graduate and undergraduate students on the Dimensions Team gathered at UNLV’s Stark Lab to refine lab protocols for an upcoming series of ecophysiological experiments involving moss performance & stress metrics.
During lab training, Theresa Clark recorded videos that will demonstrate precise techniques for culturing and stress-testing mosses.
Check back soon for these instructional videos here!
Undergraduate student, Nora Howard worked with post-doc, Josh Greenwood and doctoral student, Caleb Caswell-Levy to refine a critical method for measuring net photosynthesis in small Syntrichia specimens using the “moss chamber”. This specialized infrared gas analyzer (IRGCA) chamber can detect fine changes in CO2 and oxygen produced by the metabolism of a moss “awakening” from desiccation dormancy!
Growing mosses…greenhouse style!
The Bowker Lab (NAU) is culturing common lichens, mosses, and cyanobacteria species from Southwest biocrust! Cultured individuals are grown under the same growth-chamber conditions, but in different combinations of diversity. The cultured biocrust communities were planted in the field at their sites of origin and in foreign sites along an aridity gradient in Utah (reciprocal transplant experiment) to test if increasing diversity at different genetic levels (e.g. species and genotype) can increase resiliency to environmental stress! See Field Work for more pics of field transplant sites!