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Centaurea maculosa Lam. is a noxious weed in western North America that produces a phytotoxin, (+/-)-catechin, which is thought to contribute to its invasiveness. Areas invaded by C. maculosa often result in monocultures of the weed, however; in some areas, North American natives stand their ground against C. maculosa and show varying degrees of resistance to its phytotoxin. Two of these resistant native species, Lupinus sericeus Pursh and Gaillardia grandiflora Van Houtte, were found to secrete increased amounts of oxalate in response to catechin exposure. Mechanistically, we found that oxalate works exogenously by blocking generation of reactive oxygen species in susceptible plants and reducing oxidative damage...
The stable isotopic composition of water is routinely used as a tracer to study water exchange processes in vascular plants and ecosystems. To date, no study has focussed on isotope processes in non-vascular, poikilohydric organisms such as lichens and bryophytes. To understand basic isotope exchange processes of non-vascular plants, thallus water isotopic composition was studied in various green-algal lichens exposed to desiccation. The study indicates that lichens equilibrate with the isotopic composition of surrounding water vapour. A model was developed as a proof of concept that accounts for the specific water relations of these poikilohydric organisms. The approach incorporates first their variable thallus...