Introduction to Plant Ecophysiology in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
May 22 - June 2
Instructor: Dr. Howie Neufeld (Appalachian State University)
A short course on basic plant ecophysiology instrumentation and techniques, designed for beginners and advanced students alike. Students will learn the operating principles behind plant gas exchange (photosynthesis and transpiration), pigment extraction, and plant-water relations. This will include measuring plant water stress and hydraulics, which is how plants move liquid water in their stems. Students will become proficient in the use of portable gas exchange systems, pressure chambers for measuring water stress, hydraulic conductance systems, and fluorescence systems for measuring leaf stress. Much of the course will be field-based and measurements will be done on native plants in the lab and field; weather permitting, students will take field trips to different plant habitats in the Southern Appalachians and learn about the environmental factors governing growth and survival in these unique areas. After mastering the instrumentation and theory during the first week, students will work in groups to plan and conduct a field experiment during the second week, the results of which will be presented at a mini symposium at the conclusion of the course.
Pre-requisites: Students must have completed the introductory biology sequence at their institution