With the recent extreme drought that Southern California is facing, many plants’ survivability adaptations have proven insufficient. The Malosma laurina plant is known for it’s incredible ability to survive through droughts and wildfires with it’s adaptations of resprouts regeneration and it’s roots that can reach a depth of 40 feet to gather deep ground waters. We theorized that the mechanical strength of the leaves directly relates to its survivability during droughts. To explore this theory we took focused our theory specifically on M. laurina resprouts. With two groups, one fully alive and one dying, we took six samples from six plants within each group, for a total of twelve total plants and seventy-two leaf samples. We predicted that the alive plants, that are able to endure the drought, will have a higher mechanical strength due to the water filled cells within the leaf. We expected our results to conclude that plants that are healthier and better hydrated shall have a greater mechanical strength than those of poorer health and lower hydration.
Booth, Alexander; Corwin, Alexander; and Chung, Matthew, "The Mechanical Strength of Malosma laurina Leaves Corresponds with Survivability During Extreme Drought" (2014). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 122.