The purpose of this study was to explore the hydration levels and mechanical strength of two species native to the same area: the dry Mediterranean region of the Santa Monica Mountains. The plants in this area must make adaptations to dry and arid climates, and We will compare how they stack up against each other in terms of drought resistance. Using Hollywood (heteromeles arbutifola) and Buckwheat (Eriogonium cinerium) we studied the different hydration levels and mechanical strengths and compared them. Both H. Arbutifola and the E. Cinerium are expected to mechanically stronger when hydrated.. We also expect the H. Arbutifola to be less affected by the lack of hydration than the E. Cinerium. Our methods for this experiment include taking samples of each plant, and hydrating half of each species and allowing the other to dry out for four hours. After this is done, we used the instron mechanical strength machine and the pressure chamber to collect data on the mechanical strength and hydration levels of the leaves. We then compared the data statistically and our results showed that the hydrated Buckwheat and dehydrated Buckwheat were not significantly different in their mechanical strength. And that dehydrated Hollywood and hydrated Hollywood do not have significant mechanical strength difference. Finally the hydrated Hollywood and dehydrated Buckwheat do not have significantly different water pressures.
Hayes, Erin; Naasz, Allison; and Mangum, Ariel, "Mechanical Strength and Hydration Level of Heteromeles arbutifola and Eriogonium Cinerium" (2012). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 41.