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Plant Stress and Drivers in Ecosystem Sustainability

Moyes, Erin Marie
We sampled switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) in adjacent fields near Medford, OK. Fields were either enrolled in CRP or were considered old field. Switchgrass in the CRP plots appeared to have a higher soluble protein concentration later in the summer than in the old field plot during 2009 and 2010. There was no difference in DPPH reduction between systems for either year, but there was a difference between sample times, with later samples having higher reducing power. Mean chlorophyll concentration in old field was significantly lower than the CRP later in the summer. In a companion growth chamber study under water stressed conditions, plants grown in soil collected from the CRP site had lower protein concentration and lower reducing power than those grown in soil from the old field site, but no difference was observed in chlorophyll concentration between the sites. Overall, plants grown in CRP soil did better in the field and worse in the growth chamber, probably due to a lack of heat stress under field conditions.