(Lakeshore Nature Preserve Student Engagement Award)
Rising winter temperatures are increasing the number of freeze-thaw cycles in the soil, exposing plant root systems to more extreme frost events. Plants with relatively higher root frost tolerances will have higher survival rates than plants with lower root frost tolerances. High root frost tolerance has been linked to nutrient stress survival, with weedy species found to have higher nutrient uptake efficiencies than their native congeners. I predicted that the weedy Solidago canadensis would have a higher nonacclimated root frost tolerance than the native Solidago speciosa in the Biocore Prairie. Nonacclimated root frost tolerance was measured after exposure to 14 hour freezing treatments. No significant difference of nonacclimated root frost tolerance was found, potentially due to similar resource utilizations in the Solidago genus or protocol errors. Oral Presentation Ellen Damschen and Janet Batzli co-mentors.