Leaf wax composition and distribution of Tillandsia landbeckii reflects moisture gradient across the hyperarid Atacama Desert

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Title:Main Title: Leaf wax composition and distribution of Tillandsia landbeckii reflects moisture gradient across the hyperarid Atacama Desert
Description:Abstract: In the hyperarid Atacama Desert, water availability plays a crucial role in allowing plant survival. Along with scant rainfall, marine advective fog frequently occurs along the coastal escarpment fueling isolated mono-specific patches of Tillandsia vegetation. In this study, we investigate the lipid biomarker composition of the bromeliad Tillandsia landbeckii (CAM plant) to assess structural adaptations at the molecular level as a response to extremely arid conditions. We analyzed long-chain n-alkanes and fatty acids in living specimens (n = 59) collected from the main Tillandsia dune ecosystems across a 350 km coastal transect. We found that the leaf wax composition was dominated by n-alkanes with concentrations (total average 160.8 ± 91.4 μg/g) up to three times higher than fatty acids (66.7 ± 40.7 μg/g), likely as an adaptation to the hyperarid envi- ronment. Significant differences were found in leaf wax distribution (Average Chain Length [ACL] and Carbon Preference Index [CPI]) in the northern zone relative to the central and southern zones. We found strong negative correlations between fatty acid CPI and n-alkane ACL with precipitation and surface evaporation pointing at fine-scale adaptations to low mois- ture availability along the coastal transect. Moreover, our data indicate that the predominance of n-alkanes is reflecting the function of the wax in preventing water loss from the leaves. The hyperarid conditions and good preservation potential of both n-alkanes and fatty acids make them ideal tracers to study late Holocene climate change in the Atacama Desert.
Citation Advice:Contreras S, Landahur M, García K, Latorre C, Reyers M, Rethemeyer J, Jaeschke A (2022). Leaf wax composition and distribution of Tillandsia landbeckii reflects moisture gradient across the hyperarid Atacama Desert. Plant Systematics and Evolution 308:8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-021-01800-0
Responsible Party
Creators:Sergio Contreras (Author), Manlio Landahur (Author), Karla García (Author), Claudio Latorre (Author), Mark Reyers (Author), Janet Rethemeyer (Author), Andrea Jaeschke (Author)
Publisher:Springer
Publication Year:2022
Topic
CRC1211 Topic:Biology
Related Subprojects:D4, A3
Subject:Keyword: Paleoclimate Proxies
Geogr. Information Topic:Biota
File Details
Filename:Contreras2022.pdf
Data Type:Data Paper - Publication
File Size:1.5 MB
Date:Available: 06.01.2022
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Language:English
Status:Completed
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Download Permission:Free
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:[Creative Commons] Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
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Specific Information - Publication
Publication Status:Published
Review Status:Peer reviewed
Publication Type:Article
Article Type:Journal
Source:Plant Systematics and Evolution
Source Website:https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00606-021-01800-0
Issue:8
Volume:308
Number of Pages:13 (1 - 13)
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Andrea Jaeschke
Metadata Created:07.01.2022
Metadata Last Updated:27.01.2022
Subproject:D4
Funding Phase:2
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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