Research Proposal: Clonal Integration in Panicum Turgidum Ecotype under Various Environmental Conditions Research Topic Summary: While wind erosion is a major ecological problem and certain plants have the potential to resist this phenomenon, evidence suggests a lack of tested knowledge about the “mechanism by which plants withstand wind erosion” (Yu et al, 2008, p.571)…
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Thus, it transpires that clonal integration of perennial plants equips them with capabilities of high resistance to various environmental phenomenons. Panicum Turgidum is a perennial grass found in the “Egyptian desert,” which “meets all the criteria for a multipurpose plant” that has the potential for being used in the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems (Heneidy & Waseem, 2007, p.161). Thus, clonal integration of this species will enable humans to address a variety of ecological problems. Introductory Background: Wind erosion is the process of sand being carried away by wind and being deposited in different parts of a region and it is a major phenomenon in the “natural environment of Australia today” that determines the features of its landscape (Leys, McTanish and Shao, 2001, p.940). It is also a major feature of the natural environment occurring in other parts of the world and as it causes land degradation, it has far reaching consequences on plant life, agriculture and ecological balance of the region. Similarly, the US Department of Agriculture also recognises soil blowing due to winds as a significant problem and endorses that “orientation of the vegetation” in specific areas, coupled with other factors, plays a crucial role in determining the scale and magnitude of this phenomenon (Skidmore & Woodruff, 1968, p.1). Therefore, a logical assumption exists that the type of vegetation being grown in a region and its attributes in resisting soil erosion can have considerable influence in preventing the negative consequences of the problem. From research evidences discussed in the foregoing sections as well as the literature review presented in the forthcoming section, it has emerged that clonal integration facilitates better resistance in plants against wind erosion, flooding and other such adverse conditions. Therefore, exploring different possibilities in clonal integration of the perennial plant Panicum Turgidum, which is believed to possess all the traits for multipurpose vegetation that can be used for rehabilitating degenerated land, can be advantageous to the cause of protecting the ecological balance. Literature Review: A reiteration of ramets, comprising “shoots, rhizomes, or stolons, and roots,” characterise clonal plants and they have the ability to share resources through rhizomes or stolons, which play a crucial role in regulating their shoot growth (Wolfer & Straile, 2012, p.261). In this context, evidence suggests that the “degree and duration of wind erosion” differs in various regions and even a moderate amount of erosion can affect the growth and survival of ramets, which can be countered to a great extent by clonal integration (Yu et al, 2008, p.571). To substantiate this, the researchers have carried out the study near to the Ordos Sandland Ecological Research Station in China and the results suggest that “erosion” as well as “severing” of rhizome has a negative impact on the number of ramets and it may entail a decrease in the number of ramets, leaves or biomass of the plants (p.575). The study further substantiates the
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