Adrienne B. Nicotra

Adrienne B. Nicotra
Australian National University | ANU · Research School of Biology (RSB)

PhD

About

82
Publications
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7,524
Citations

Publications

Publications (82)
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is generating both sustained trends in average temperatures and higher frequency and intensity of extreme events. This poses a serious threat to biodiversity, especially in vulnerable environments, like alpine systems. Phenotypic plasticity is considered to be an adaptive mechanism to cope with climate change in situ, yet studies of...
Article
Understanding plant thermal tolerance is fundamental to predicting impacts of extreme temperature events that are increasing in frequency and intensity across the globe. Extremes, not averages, drive species evolution, determine survival, and increased crop performance. To better prioritise agricultural and natural system research, it is crucial to...
Poster
Full-text available
Plants tolerate temperature extremes within physiological limits before they can no longer photosynthesise and begin to incur damage. We can measure the critical thermal limits of leaves using many different methods. But how do variations within a measurement method affect estimates of thermal tolerance limits? Can we make valid interspecific compa...
Article
Laboratory studies on artificial leaves suggest that leaf thermal dynamics are strongly influenced by the two-dimensional size and shape of leaves and associated boundary layer thickness. Hot environments are therefore said to favour selection for small, narrow or dissected leaves. Empirical evidence from real leaves under field conditions is scant...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to addre...
Article
Full-text available
Encouraging more students to embrace plant science research is a global priority. We have evolved a second year undergraduate course from a standard lecture/practical format into an innovative research-led learning design that gives students hands-on experience of cutting-edge plant science research and specialist instrumentation. By making tangibl...
Article
Full-text available
1. Seed germination strategies vary dramatically among species but relatively little is known about how germination traits correlate with other elements of plant strategy systems. Understanding drivers of germination strategy is critical to our understanding of the evolutionary biology of plant reproduction. 2. We present a novel assessment of seed...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the environmental constraints that affect species distributions are critical to the mainte- nance of biodiversity. The abundance of epiphytic organisms, those that grow on another substrate, such as a tree or rock, is a direct consequence of the avail- ability and distribution of these substrates (Ackerman et al. 1989). In the case of...
Article
Full-text available
Climate is one of the main abiotic factors influencing natural selection patterns. Year-to-year variation in climate is postulated to elicit temporal shifts in the direction and form of selection. Here, we examine the importance of trait means and plasticities for fitness under interannual variation in rainfall and assess the shifts in selection in...
Article
Natural-resource managers and other conservation practitioners are under unprecedented pressure to categorize and quantify the vulnerability of natural systems based on assessment of the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of species to climate change. Despite the urgent need for these assessments, neither the theoretical basis of adaptive...
Article
Full-text available
Environmentally induced phenotypic plasticity may be a critical component of response to changing environments. We examined local differentiation and adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to elevated temperature in half-sib lines collected across an elevation gradient for the alpine herb, Wahlenbergia ceracea. Using Amplified Fragment Length P...
Article
AimSeed traits related to recruitment have direct relevance for plant fitness and persistence. Trait variation in time and among populations may increase species resilience and ultimately reduce the risk of extinction. However, patterns of among-population variation in critical recruitment traits remain poorly known and are often disregarded when c...
Article
Snow cover protects alpine plants from winter frost damage, keeping them under warmer and more stable temperatures than if there were no snow. Future climate scenarios predict less snow cover and earlier snow melt due to warming, causing paradoxically colder winters in a warmer climate. We compared intraspecific variation in cold tolerance between...
Article
Australia's ecosystems are the basis of our current and future prosperity, and our national well-being. A strong and sustainable Australian ecosystem science enterprise is vital for understanding and securing these ecosystems in the face of current and future challenges. This Plan defines the vision and key directions for a national ecosystem scien...
Article
Full-text available
Species are the unit of analysis in many global change and conservation biology studies; however, species are not uniform entities but are composed of different, sometimes locally adapted, populations differing in plasticity. We examined how intraspecific variation in thermal niches and phenotypic plasticity will affect species distributions in a w...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature is a significant factor influencing seed germination and for many species temperature-mediated germination cues are vital for plant persistence. Rising temperatures forecast as a result of anthropogenic climate change may have a substantial influence on the population and range dynamics of plant species. Here, we report on the thermal c...
Article
Full-text available
Meconopsis Viguier (Papaveraceae) is an iconic genus of alpine forbs that includes medicinal and ornamental species. This study extends previous phylogenetic analyses of Meconopsis, using ITS sequences representing all the major Meconopsis clades. Phenotypic traits are also analysed for all described species. Our results show that Meconopsis evolve...
Article
Temperature and moisture impact strongly on the early stages of a plant's life cycle. Global climate change is altering the environmental cues that seeds receive resulting in compromised seedling emergence and changes to seedling performance. Here, we investigate how temperature and moisture affect these early stages of plant development in four Ba...
Article
Full-text available
Given the predicted changes in rainfall patterns for many Mediterranean climate regions, identifying seed tolerance to moisture stress in the earliest phase of plant development is an important consideration for species conservation, management and restoration. Here, we used polyethylene glycol (PEG 8000) to induce plant water deficit similar to dr...
Article
Full-text available
Given the predicted changes in rainfall patterns for many Mediterranean climate regions, identifying seed tolerance to moisture stress in the earliest phase of plant development is an important consideration for species conservation, management and restoration. Here, we used polyethylene glycol (PEG 8000) to induce plant water deficit similar to dr...
Article
Projected warmer and drier climates are expected to impact heavily on plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems, but experimental investigations of sensitivity and adaptive capacity are needed to better understand species responses. Here, we examine the effects of warming and drying on growth and allocation in seedlings from populations o...
Article
Full-text available
Plants show phenotypic plasticity in response to changing or extreme abiotic environments; but over millions of years they also have co-evolved to respond to the presence of soil microbes. Studies on phenotypic plasticity in plants have focused mainly on the effects of the changing environments on plants' growth and survival. Evidence is now accumu...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study: Trait integration may improve prediction of species and lineage responses to future climate change more than individual traits alone, particularly when analyses incorporate effects of phylogenetic relationships. The South African genus Pelargonium contains divergent major clades that have radiated along the same seasonal arid...
Article
Full-text available
Tree growth and form are both influenced by crown architecture and how it effects leaf distribution and light interception. This study examined the vertical distribution of foliage in four-year-old plantation-grown Eucalyptus pilularis Sm. and E. cloeziana F. Muell. trees. Leaf area (LA) distribution was determined at two different sites using allo...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study: The three co-occurring epiphytic orchid species, Sarcochilus hillii, Plectorrhiza tridentata, and Sarcochilus parviflorus vary in host specificity; all are found predominantly on the tree Backhousia myrtifolia but some also associate with a broad range of species. Despite this specialization, no fitness advantage has been det...
Article
Full-text available
Pruning of live branches is a management option to enhance wood quality in plantation trees. It may also alter whole-tree water use, but little is known about the extent and duration of changes in transpiration. In this study, sap flow sensors were used to measure transpiration for 14 days prior to, and 75 days following the removal, through prunin...
Article
Full-text available
Maximising the production of knot-free (clear) wood can be achieved by early removal of branches from the lower crown. Ideally, this is carried out without reducing stem growth or the competitive status of the pruned tree. The decision surrounding the time to prune in Eucalyptus species is influenced by stem and branch diameter development, the rat...
Article
Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence,...
Article
Full-text available
Trait integration may improve prediction of species and lineage responses to future climate change more than individual traits alone, particularly when analyses incorporate effects of phylogenetic relationships. The South African genus Pelargonium contains divergent major clades that have radiated along the same seasonal aridity gradient, presentin...
Article
• Transient lulls in air movement are rarely measured, but can cause leaf temperature to rise rapidly to critical levels. The high heat capacity of thick leaves can damp this rapid change in temperature. However, little is known about the extent to which increased leaf thickness can reduce thermal damage, or how thick leaves would need to be to hav...
Article
Full-text available
Angiosperm leaves manifest a remarkable diversity of shapes that range from developmental sequences within a shoot and within crown response to microenvironment to variation among species within and between communities and among orders or families. It is generally assumed that because photosynthetic leaves are critical to plant growth and survival,...
Article
Do invasive plant species have greater phenotypic plasticity than non-invasive species? And, if so, how does this affect their fitness relative to native, non-invasive species? What role might this play in plant invasions? To answer these long-standing questions, we conducted a meta-analysis using data from 75 invasive/non-invasive species pairs. O...
Article
Full-text available
PREMISE: Epiphytes rely on their phorophyte (host substrate) for support; epiphytic orchids also rely on mycorrhizal fungi for germination. Previous studies have proposed a degree of specificity in both interactions. Epiphytic orchids therefore provide an interesting system in which to examine multispecies interactions and the evolution of speciali...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is altering the availability of resources and the conditions that are crucial to plant performance. One way plants will respond to these changes is through environmentally induced shifts in phenotype (phenotypic plasticity). Understanding plastic responses is crucial for predicting and managing the effects of climate change on native...
Article
This study investigates the functional significance of heterophylly in Ginkgo biloba, where leaves borne on short shoots are ontogenetically distinct from those on long shoots. Short shoots are compact, with minimal internodal elongation; their leaves are supplied with water through mature branches. Long shoots extend the canopy and have significan...
Article
Full-text available
PROtocols, METHods, Explanations and Updated Standards Wiki (PrometheusWiki, http://www.publish.csiro.au/prometheuswiki/) is a new open access, fully searchable web resource that contains protocols and methods for plant physiology, ecology and environmental sciences. Contributions can be uploaded by anyone in the community, with attributed authorsh...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods Science moves most rapidly when the majority of researchers uses similar methods and can easily repeat and build upon each others' discoveries. There is a strong need for standardizing in ecological and environmental plant physiology. Traditionally information about protocols has been communicated either through conven...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The Australian Alps have been identified as critically vulnerable to climate change by the International Panel on Climate Change. Alpine environments occupy ca. 5200 km2 of Australia’s south-east mainland. This alpine ecosystem is Heritage listed, a centre of plant diversity within Australia and one of the world’s biodi...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of new techniques in plant science, including molecular and phenomic tools, presents a novel opportunitytore-evaluatethewayweexaminethephenotype.Ourincreasingcapacityforphenotypingmeansthatnotonly canweconsiderincreasingnumbersofspeciesorvarieties,butalsothatwecaneffectivelyquantifythephenotypesofthese differentgenotypesunderarangeofe...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf shapes reflect complex assemblages of shape-determining elements, yet evolutionary studies tend to treat leaf shape as a single attribute, for example cordate or linear. As with all complex structures, individual elements of a leaf could theoretically evolve independently and at different rates to the extent permitted by genetic and functional...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stomatal responses are important because they control plant water balance. Conventional wisdom has it that stomata close in response to heat and in response to dry air, but these responses have seldom been examined in an explicitly comparative framework. We examined leaf and stomatal response to water limitation in five South African Pelargonium sp...
Article
Photosynthetic rate per unit nitrogen generally declines as leaf mass per unit area (LMA) increases. To determine how much of this decline was associated with allocating a greater proportion of leaf nitrogen into cell wall material, we compared two groups of plants. The first group consisted of two species from each of eight genera, all of which we...
Article
Many pathogens undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction to varying degrees, yet the ecological, genetic and evolutionary consequences of different reproductive strategies remain poorly understood. Here we investigate the population genetic structure of wild populations of the plant pathogen Melampsora lini on its host Linum marginale, using amp...
Article
The loss of foliage through pruning of live branches may reduce tree growth or it may be compensated by photosynthetic up-regulation of the remaining crown. Here, the changes in light-saturated photosynthesis following pruning to remove 50% of green crown length were examined in 4-year-old Eucalyptus pilularis Sm. and Eucalyptus cloeziana F. Muell....
Article
We examined growth of Eucalyptus microcarpa seedlings in soil collected from four sites in southeastern Australia, in which retired pasture land has been revegetated with mixed plantings of Eucalyptus and Acacia species. Revegetation of farm land in southeastern Australia is an area of major investment. The focus of the study was to examine the inf...
Article
Full-text available
Pruning of live branches is performed to enhance wood quality in plantation trees. Stem, branch and wood properties may be altered following pruning from below, but the extent and duration of such effects are unknown for many plantation Eucalyptus species. The effect of 0%, 20%, 50%, and 70% green crown length removal on growth and wood quality was...
Article
Full-text available
The thermal response of gas exchange varies among plant species and with growth conditions. Plants from hot dry climates generally reach maximal photosynthetic rates at higher temperatures than species from temperate climates. Likewise, species in these environments are predicted to have small leaves with more-dissected shapes. We compared eight sp...
Article
A more dissected or smaller leaf should have better heat exchange and track air temperature more closely than a larger leaf of the same shape or less dissected leaf of similar area. Leaf overheating can lead to high water loss and damage to photosynthetic apparatus, thus the ability to dissipate heat quickly may be critical to survival in hot or dr...
Article
The effect of planting density on branch development was examined in 4-year-old Eucalyptus pilularis Sm. and Eucalyptus cloeziana F. Muell. plantations located near the coast of north-eastern NSW. Branch diameter, angle and status (live or dead) were measured along the entire stem of trees established at 1250, 1667 and 3333 stems per hectare (sph)....
Article
Here, patterns of phenotypic plasticity and trait integration of leaf characteristics in six geographically discrete populations of the perennial herb Pelargonium australe were compared. It was hypothesized that populations would show local adaptation in trait means, but similar patterns of plasticity and trait integration. Further, it was question...
Article
With average global temperatures predicted to increase over the next century, it is important to understand the extent and mechanisms of C4 photosynthetic acclimation to modest increases in growth temperature. To this end, we compared the photosynthetic responses of two C4 grasses (Panicum coloratum and Cenchrus ciliaris) and one C4 dicot (Flaveria...
Article
Soil and litter invertebrates can have positive or negative effects on plant growth through indirect mechanisms (e.g. via their contribution to nutrient cycling) and directly (e.g. via root herbivory). The plant community may influence the invertebrate community directly through the provision and quality of habitat and resources, such as litter and...
Article
1 In gender dimorphic species, reproductive allocation (RA, the ratio of reproductive to vegetative biomass) is predicted to be greater in female plants than in male plants. Empirical research on dimorphic plant species supports this hypothesis. To date, of 44 dimorphic angiosperms for which RA has been reported in the literature, RA is greater in...
Article
We examined the stomatal response to leaf excision in an evergreen woody shrub, Photinia x fraseri, using a novel combination of gas exchange, traditional water relations and modelling. Plants were kept outdoors in mild winter conditions (average daily temperature range: -1 to 12 degrees C) before being transferred to a glasshouse (temperature rang...
Article
Despite the obvious benefits of using thermography under field conditions, most infrared studies at the leaf level are generally conducted in the laboratory. One reason for this bias is that accuracy can potentially be compromised in sunlight because reflected radiation from the leaf might affect the calculation of the temperature measurement. We h...
Article
Despite the obvious benefits of using thermography under field conditions, most infrared studies at the leaf level are generally conducted in the laboratory. One reason for this bias is that accuracy can potentially be compromised in sunlight because reflected radiation from the leaf might affect the calculation of the temperature measurement. We h...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The degree to which eco-physiological traits critical to seedling establishment are related to differences in geographic range size among species is not well understood. Here, we first tested the idea that seedling eco-physiological attributes associated with establishment differ between narrowly distributed and geographically widespread plant...
Article
Summary • Few studies of pollination success in fragmented systems measure stigmatic pollen load, and those that do often find it unrelated to plant or population density, size or isolation. Reduced reproductive output, however, is commonly reported, probably because incompatible pollen is contributing substantially to pollen loads of isolated flow...
Article
Herbivory is an important selection pressure in the life history of plants. Most studies use seed or fruit production as an indication of plant fitness, but the impact of herbivory on male reproductive success is usually ignored. It is possible that plants compensate for resources lost to herbivory by shifting the allocation from seed production to...