Addressed here is the question of whether invasive heliotropic plants can adapt better than native heliotropic plants, to conditions in which their solar tracking capabilities are hindered. In order to test this, a heliotropic species native to Southern California (Lupinus succulentus) was compared to a weedy heliotropic species invasive to Southern California (Malva parviflora). We hypothesized that the photoprotection mechanisms of M. parviflora would adapt better to being restrained as it is an invasive species and it was more abundant in the area. Values of Fv’/Fm’ and qN were measured in order to compare the efficacy of photoprotection mechanisms between the two species. The differences in photoprotection mechanisms of the two species were determined to not be significantly different when the species were allowed to solar track. After a week of the plants being restrained, it was determined that M. parviflora’s photoprotection mechanisms showed greater efficacy than did those of L. succulentus. However, further research should be conducted in order to confirm the accuracy of these results.
Davidson, Joseph; Juarez, Cameron; and Scott, Collin, "Photoprotection Adaptiveness in Native (Lupinus
succulentus) and Invasive (Malva parviflora) Heliotropic Plants" (2017). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 184.