HORT 476 – Environmental Plant Stress Physiology
HORT 576 – Advanced Environmental Plant Stress Physiology
Dr. Bauerle’s Publications
I am interested in physiological characteristics of woody plants that ameliorate the effects of drought and thermal stress – two climate change factors that could alter the biodiversity of the U.S. terrestrial ecosystem over the course of this century. I take into account secondary stresses such as elevated temperature, because multiple stresses interact to alter plant carbon and water exchange. I work from the whole-plant level down to the molecular level in order to investigate genetic variation and quantify genotype specific drought and heat tolerance strategies. The results of this work are multifaceted: 1) to learn how physiological processes are integrated into water use and growth responses, 2) to explain the mechanisms by which multiple water stress interactions influence long-lived perennials, and 3) to predict the intrinsic physiological responses of woody perennials to water deficit.
I draw on the results of my water stress physiology research program to develop spatially explicit physiologically- and genetically-constrained models. Process modeling allows me to scale the research findings from the molecular to the ecosystem level. The biologically based modeling is an integrated component of my research program where the focus of the effort is on water and thermal abiotic stress and their respective interactions. Thus, by linking genetic predisposition with mechanistic models, I quantify ecosystem-atmosphere energy exchange and net primary production at the intraspecific level. The technique is well suited to confront the challenges in predicting the effect of water stress on genetically diverse managed landscape tree species, ecotypes, and genotypes.