Taryn Bauerle

Taryn Bauerle

Associate Professor

168 Plant Science Building
(607) 254-4867

My overall research interests lie in woody root physiological ecology. Primarily, my lab works on examining root morphological and physiological response to abiotic and biotic stressors. The majority of my research deals with growth and physiological responses of plants to water deficits under both greenhouse and field conditions. I am interested in the integration of whole plant water status in relation to soil and root demographics with root physiological characteristics at the individual root level. In particular, I focus on root response to localized water, hydraulic redistribution, and herbivory and how these parameters affect whole plant physiology. I aim to use basic research to address industry pertinent issues, such as stress caused by a limited water supply and fine root responses to herbivore pressures.

Research Focus

The majority of my research has focused on growth and physiological responses of plants to water deficits under both greenhouse and field conditions. In so doing, I concentrate on the integration of physiological responses from the organ to the whole plant level. In particular, I focus on root responses to localized water, hydraulic redistribution, and herbivory all important issues surrounding woody ornamental horticultural crops. My lab investigates inherent root-system growth patterns in heterogeneous environments as often found in both containerized and field grown plant material. One major question my research aims to address is "how does water stress influence root allocation and survivorship along a gradient in whole plant water stress severity? " Particularly, how does localized water stress affect individual roots? A complementary component of my research deals with the effects of insect feeding on root population dynamics and function. Plant herbivory can cause severe loss of plant biomass as well as impair physiological function and cause shifts in carbon allocation. Differences in root system growth rate may affect the mechanism by which plants deal with herbivory including, diminished frequency of root infection due to high root growth rates or temporal avoidance. Thus, understanding how plants respond to herbivore pressure strengthens our ability to manage plant-herbivore interactions.

Teaching Focus

I teach The Nature of Plants (HORT 1115), Arboriculture: Applied Tree Care (Special topics, HORT 4940) and coordinate the Plant Science Internship Program (HORT 4960).

Selected Publications

Journal Publications