Spatial and temporal variation in stomatal response to climate: a case study of modern and herbarium samples of Salix

Tunnicliff, Laura

February 2013

Thesis or dissertation

© 2013 Laura Tunnicliff. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the interaction between atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) levels and climate with the stomatal abundance of Salix cinerea (Grey Willow). There are three principle objectives of this research:
1. Develop a methodology for obtaining S. cinerea stomatal counts
a. In terms of leaf preparation
b. In terms of checking for effects of within-tree differences in leaf sampling on stomatal abundance data
2. Investigate the spatial variation in stomatal abundance at the present day in relation to climatic factors
3. Investigate the temporal variation of stomatal abundance over time in relation to CO₂ levels and climate factors
The first objective will involve a review of the literature of current methods used for obtaining stomatal data, coupled with testing how these methods may be adapted for application to the target species. The second objective will be achieved by quantifying the number of stomata present in modern samples collected from various locations from across Europe, which have different climates. As these samples will be collected at a similar time, any influence that CO₂ may have on the number of stomata should be mitigated and any differences present will be as a result of controlling climatic factors. The final objective will assess plant specimens collected from the same climate region, but which have been subjected to differing levels of CO₂, thus quantifying any effect that CO₂ has on the number of stomata in S. cinerea. This will be made possible by using samples from Hull herbarium, which contains specimens dating as far back to the early 1800s, in combination with corresponding historical climate data.

Department of Geography, The University of Hull
Bunting, M. Jane
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