Prof Marilyn Ball

Professor
Research School of Biology

The Ball Lab studies how physiological adaptations and responses to environmental stresses affect the structure and functioning of plant communities along environmental gradients. Current projects are exploring the role of plant morphology in evolutionary trade-offs between stress tolerance and coordination of hydraulic and photosynthetic activity in leaves. This trade-off has implications for the structure, display and function of leaves that might constrain carbon gain and affect the capacity of evergreen species to respond with growth to climate warming and increasing atmospheric [CO2]. The work is being conducted on mangroves, temperate evergreen sclerophylls, and Antarctic vegetation.

Research interests

  • Global Change Biology
  • Plant Physiology
  • Ecological Physiology
  • Nguyen, H, Meir, P, Sack, L et al 2017, 'Leaf water storage increases with salinity and aridity in the mangrove Avicennia marina: integration of leaf structure, osmotic adjustment, and access to multiple water sources', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 40, no. 8, pp. 1576-1591.
  • Nguyen, H, Meir, P, Wolfe, J et al 2017, 'Plumbing the depths: extracellular water storage in specialized leaf structures and its functional expression in a three-domain pressure-volume relationship', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 40, no. 7, pp. 1021-1038pp.
  • Lovelock, C, Feller, I, Reef, R et al 2017, 'Mangrove dieback during fluctuating sea levels', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1680-1680.
  • Lovelock, C, Reef, R & Ball, M 2017, 'Isotopic signatures of stem water reveal differences in water sources accessed by mangrove tree species', Hydrobiologia, vol. Online, pp. 1-13pp..
  • Feller, I, Ball, M, Ellis, J et al 2017, 'Interactive effects of climate and nutrient enrichment on patterns of herbivory by different feeding guilds in mangrove forests', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 1326-1338.
  • Lovelock, C, Krauss, K, Osland, M et al 2016, 'The physiology of mangrove trees with changing climate', in Guillermo Goldstein, Louis S. Santiago (ed.), Tropical Tree Physiology Adaptations and Responses in a Changing Environment, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 149-179.
  • Sack, L, Ball, M, Brodersen, C et al 2016, 'Plant hydraulics as a central hub integrating plant and ecosystem function: meeting report for 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' (Washington, DC, May 2015)', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 39, no. 9, pp. 2085-2094pp.
  • Schortemeyer, M, Evans, J, Bruhn, D et al 2015, 'Temperature responses of photosynthesis and respiration in a sub-Antarctic megaherb from Heard Island', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 552-564.
  • Zsogon, A, Alves Negrini, A, Pereira Peres, L et al 2015, 'A mutation that eliminates bundle sheath extensions reduces leaf hydraulic conductance, stomatal conductance and assimilation rates in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)', New Phytologist, vol. 205, no. 2, pp. 618-626pp.
  • Bergstrom, D, Bricher, P, Raymond, B et al 2015, 'Rapid collapse of a sub-Antarctic alpine ecosystem: the role of climate and pathogens', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 774-783.
  • Rolland, V, Bergstrom, D, Lenne, T et al 2015, 'Easy Come, Easy Go: Capillary Forces Enable Rapid Refilling of Embolized Primary Xylem Vessels', Plant Physiology, vol. 168, no. 4, pp. 1636-1647.
  • Way, D, Holly, C, Bruhn, D et al 2015, 'Diurnal and seasonal variation in light and dark respiration in field-grown Eucalyptus pauciflora', Tree Physiology, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 840-849.
  • Nguyen, H, Stanton, D, Schmitz, N, Farquhar, G, Ball, M. 2015, 'Growth responses of the mangrove Avicennia marina to salinity: Development and function of shoot hydraulic systems require saline conditions', Annals of Botany, vol. 115, no. 3, pp. 397-407.
  • Briceno Rodriguez, V, Harris-Pascal, D, Nicotra, A et al 2014, 'Variation in snow cover drives differences in frost resistance in seedlings of the alpine herb Aciphylla glacialis', Environmental and Experimental Botany, vol. 106, pp. 174-181.
  • Stanton, D, Merlin, M, Bryant, G et al 2014, 'Water redistribution determines photosynthetic responses to warming and drying in two polar mosses', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 178-186.
  • Martorell Lliteras, S, Diaz-Espejo, A, Medrano, H et al 2014, 'Rapid hydraulic recovery in Eucalyptus pauciflora after drought: Linkages between stem hydraulics and leaf gas exchange', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 617-626.
  • Leigh, A, Hill, R & Ball, M 2014, 'Leaf shape influences spatial variation in photosynthetic function in Lomatia tinctoria', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 41, no. 8, pp. 833-842.
  • Krauss, K & Ball, M 2013, 'On the halophytic nature of mangroves', Trees (Structure and Function), vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 7-11.
  • Ball, M, Harris-Pascal, D, Egerton, J et al 2012, 'The paradoxical increase in freezing injury in a warming climate: frost as a driver of change in cold climate vegetation', in Kenneth B Storey and KAren Tanino (ed.), Temperature adaptation in a changing climate: Nature at Risk, CABI Publishing, United Kingdom, pp. 179-185.
  • Milne, K, Sack, L & Ball, M 2012, 'Hydraulic conductance of Acacia phyllodes (foliage) is driven by primary nerve (vein) conductance and density', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 158-168.
  • Reef, R, Ball, M & Lovelock, C 2012, 'The impact of a locust plague on mangroves of the arid Western Australia coast', Journal of Tropical Ecology, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 307-311.
  • Schmitz, N, Egerton, J, Lovelock, C et al 2012, 'Light-dependent maintenance of hydraulic function in mangrove branches: Do xylary chloroplasts play a role in embolism repair?', New Phytologist, vol. 195, no. 1, pp. 40-46.
  • Leigh, A, Sevanto, S, Ball, M et al 2012, 'Do thick leaves avoid thermal damage in critically low wind speeds?', New Phytologist, vol. 194, no. 2, pp. 477-487.
  • Sevanto, S, Holbrook, N & Ball, M 2012, 'Freeze/thaw-induced embolism: probability of critical bubble formation depends on speed of ice formation', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 3, no. JUN, pp. PMC3368182/1-12.
  • Reef, R, Schmitz, N, Rogers, B et al 2012, 'Differential responses of the mangrove Avicennia marina to salinity and abscisic acid', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 1038-1046.
  • Bruhn, D, Mikkelsen, T, Herbst, M et al 2011, 'Estimating daytime ecosystem respiration from eddy-flux data', Biosystems, vol. 103, no. 2, pp. 309-313.
  • Lovelock, C, Feller, I, Adame, M et al 2011, 'Intense storms and the delivery of materials that relieve nutrient limitations in mangroves of an arid zone estuary', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 514-522.
  • Choat, B, Medek, D, Stuart, S et al 2011, 'Xylem traits mediate a trade-off between resistance to freeze-thaw-induced embolism and photosynthetic capacity in overwintering evergreens', New Phytologist, vol. 191, no. 4, pp. 996-1005.
  • Medek, D, Evans, J, Schortemeyer, M et al 2011, 'Effects of growth temperature on photosynthetic gas exchange characteristics and hydraulic anatomy in leaves of two cold-climate Poa species', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 54-62.
  • Feller, I, Lovelock, C, Berger, U et al 2010, 'Biocomplexity in Mangrove Ecosystems', Annual Review of Marine Science, vol. 2, pp. 395-417.
  • Milne, K, Gimeno, T & Ball, M 2010, 'Primary nerve (vein) density influences spatial heterogeneity of photosynthetic response to drought in two Acacia species', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 840-848.
  • Loveys, B, Egerton, J, Bruhn, D et al 2010, 'Disturbance is required for CO2-dependent promotion of woody plant growth in grasslands', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 555-565.
  • Reef, R, Ball, M, Feller, I et al 2010, 'Relationships among RNA : DNA ratio, growth and elemental stoichiometry in mangrove trees', Functional Ecology, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 1064-1072.
  • Thomson, V, Cunningham, S, Ball, M et al 2003, 'Compensation for herbivory by Cucumis sativus through increased photosynthetic capacity and efficiency', Oecologia, vol. 134, no. 2, pp. 167-175.
  • Lenne, T, Bryant, G, Hocart, C et al 2010, 'Freeze avoidance: a dehydrating moss gathers no ice', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 1731-1741.
  • Martin, K, Bruhn, D, Lovelock, C et al 2010, 'Nitrogen fertilization enhances water-use efficiency in a saline environment', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 344-357.
  • Roden, J, Canny, M, Huang, C et al 2009, 'Frost tolerance and ice formation in Pinus radiata needles: ice management by the endodermis and transfusion tissues', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 36, pp. 180-189.
  • Atwell, B, Henery, M & Ball, M 2009, 'Does soil nitrogen influence growth, water transport and survival of snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieber ex Sprengel.) under CO2 enrichment?', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 553-566.
  • Ball, M & Hill, M 2009, 'Elevated atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Enhance Vulnerability to Frost Damage in a Warming World', in L Gusta, M Wisniewski, K Tanino (ed.), Plant Cold Hardiness: From the laboratory to the field, CABI Publishing, USA, pp. 183-189.
  • Lovelock, C, Ball, M, Martin, K et al 2009, 'Nutrient Enrichment Increases Mortality of Mangroves', PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 1-4.
  • Siebke, K & Ball, M 2009, 'Non-destructive measurement of chlorophyll b: a ratios and identification of photosynthetic pathways in grasses by reflectance spectroscopy', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 857-866.
  • Bruhn, D, Schortemeyer, M, Edwards, E et al 2008, 'The apparent temperature response of leaf respiration depends on the timescale of measurements: a study of two cold climate species', Plant Biology, vol. 10, pp. 185-193.
  • Woldendorp, G, Hill, M, Doran, R et al 2008, 'Frost in a future climate: modelling interactive effects of warmer temperatures and rising atmospheric [CO2] on the incidence and severity of frost damage in a temperate evergreen (Eucalyptus pauciflora)', Global Change Biology, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 294-308.
  • Medek, D, Ball, M & Schortemeyer, M 2007, 'Relative contributions of leaf area ratio and net assimilation rate to change in growth rate depend on growth temperature: comparative analysis of subantarctic and alpine grasses', New Phytologist, vol. 175, pp. 290-300.
  • Lovelock, C, Feller, I, Ball, M et al 2007, 'Testing the Growth Rate vs. Geochemical Hypothesis for latitudinal variation in plant nutrients', Ecology Letters, vol. 10, pp. 1154-1163.
  • Stuart, S, Choat, B, Martin, K et al 2007, 'The role of freezing in setting the latitudinal limits of mangrove forests', New Phytologist, vol. 173, pp. 576-583.
  • Bruhn, D, Egerton, J, Loveys, B et al 2007, 'Evergreen leaf respiration acclimates to long-term nocturnal warming under field conditions', Global Change Biology, vol. 13, pp. 1216-1223.
  • Stuart, S, Choat, B, Martin, K et al 2007, 'The role of freezing in setting the latitudinal limits of mangrove forests', New Phytologist, vol. 173, pp. 576-583.
  • Loveys, B, Egerton, J & Ball, M 2006, 'Higher daytime leaf temperatures contribute to lower freeze tolerance under elevated CO2', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 29, pp. 1077-1086.
  • Lovelock, C, Ball, M, Choat, B et al 2006, 'Linking physiological processes with mangrove forest structure: phosphorus deficiency limits canopy development, hydraulic conductivity and photosynthetic carbon gain in dwarf Rhizophora mangle', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 793-802.
  • Leigh, A, Close, J, Ball, M et al 2006, 'Leaf cooling curves: measuring leaf temperature in sunlight', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 33, pp. 515-519.
  • Marenco, R, Siebke, K, Farquhar, G et al 2006, 'Hydraulically based stomatal oscillations and stomatal patchiness in Gossypium hirsutum', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 33, pp. 1103-1113.
  • Lovelock, C, Ball, M, Feller, I et al 2006, 'Variation in hydraulic conductivity of mangroves: influence of species, salinity, and nitrogen and phosphorus availability', Physiologia Plantarum, vol. 127, pp. 457-464.
  • Lovelock, C, Feller, I, Ball, M et al 2006, 'Differences in plant function in phosphorus - and nitrogen - limited mangrove ecosystems', New Phytologist, vol. 172, pp. 514-522.
  • Ball, M, Canny, M, Huang, C et al 2006, 'Freeze/thaw-induced embolism depends on nadir temperature: the heterogeneous hydration hypothesis', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 729-745.
  • Choat, B, Ball, M, Luly, J et al 2006, 'Seasonal patterns of leaf gas exchange and water relations in dry rain forest trees of contrasting leaf phenology', Tree Physiology, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 657-664.
  • Barker, D, Loveys, B, Egerton, J et al 2005, 'CO2 enrichment predisposes foliage of an eucalypt to freezing injury and reduces spring growth', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 28, pp. 1506-1515.
  • Choat, B, Ball, M, Luly, J et al 2005, 'Hydraulic architecture of deciduous and evergreen dry rainforest tree species from north-eastern Australia', Trees (Structure and Function), vol. 19, pp. 305-311.
  • Lovelock, C, Feller, I, McKee, K et al 2004, 'The effect of nutrient enrichment on growth, photosynthesis and hydraulic conductance of dwarf mangroves in Panama', Functional Ecology, vol. 18, pp. 25-33.
  • Ball, M, Canny, M, Huang, C et al 2004, 'Structural changes in acclimated and unacclimated leaves during freezing and thawing', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 31, pp. 29-40.
  • Hendrickson, L, Ball, M, Wood, J et al 2004, 'Low Temperature effects on Photosynthesis and Growth of Grapevine', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 27, pp. 795-809.
  • Choat, B, Ball, M, Luly, J et al 2003, 'Pit membrane porosity and water stress-induced cavitation in four coexisting dry rainforest tree species', Plant Physiology, vol. 131, pp. 41-48.
  • Gilmore, A, Matsubara, S, Ball, M et al 2003, 'Excitation energy flow at 77 K in the photosynthetic apparatus of overwintering greens', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 26, pp. 1021-1034.
  • Hendrickson, L, Ball, M, Osmond, C et al 2003, 'Assessment of photoprotection mechanisms of grapevines at low temperature', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 30, pp. 631-642.
  • Nicotra, A, Hofmann, M, Siebke, K et al 2003, 'Spatial patterning of pigmentation in evergreen leaves in response to freezing stress', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 26, pp. 1893-1904.
  • Thomson, V, Cunningham, S, Ball, M et al 2003, 'Compensation for herbivory by Cucumis sativus through increased photosynthetic capacity and efficiency', Oecologia, vol. 134, pp. 167-175.
  • Ball, M, Egerton, J, Lutze, J et al 2002, 'Mechanisms of competition: Thermal inhibition of tree seedling growth by grass', Oecologia, vol. 133, pp. 120-130.
  • Ball, M, Wolfe, J, Canny, M et al 2002, 'Space and time dependence of temperature and freezing in evergreen leaves', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 29, pp. 1259-1272.
  • Lovelock, C & Ball, M 2002, 'Influence of salinity on photosynthesis of halophytes', in A Lauchli and U Luttge (ed.), Salinity: environment - plants - molecules, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp. 315-339.
  • Hendrickson, L, Ball, M, Chow, W et al 2002, 'Low morning temperature limits photosynthesis and growth in cool climate grapevines', International Congress on Photosynthesis (PS 2001), CSLI Publications, Melbourne, pp. s34-008.
  • Matsubara, S, Gilmore, A, Ball, M et al 2002, 'Photoprotection under low temperatures: Effects by pigment arrangement in Amyema miquelii', International Congress on Photosynthesis (PS 2001), CSLI Publications, Melbourne, pp. s35-012.
  • Ball, M 2002, 'Interactive effects of salinity and irradiance on growth: implications for mangrove forest structure along salinity gradients', Trees (Structure and Function), vol. 16, pp. 126-139.
  • Matsubara, S, Gilmore, A, Ball, M et al 2002, 'Sustained downregulation of photosystem II in mistletoes during winter depression of photosynthesis', Functional Plant Biology, vol. 29, pp. 1157-1169.
  • Lovelock, C, Heath, K, Kandil, R et al 2002, 'Do flavenoids and tannins have a role in photoprotection in mangroves', International Congress on Photosynthesis (PS 2001), CSLI Publications, Melbourne, pp. s20-032.
  • Thomson, V, Cunningham, S, Ball, M et al 2001, 'Cunning Cucurbits: How do cucumber plants compensate for herbivory?', 2001 Ecological Society of Australia, University of Wollongong, University of Wollongong, p. 90.
  • Gilmore, A & Ball, M 2000, 'Protection and storage of chlorophyll in over wintering evergreens.', PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 97, pp. 11098-11101.
  • Egerton, J, Banks, J, Gibson, A et al 2000, 'Facilitation of Seedling Establishment: Reduction in Irradiance Enhances Winter Growth of Eucalyptus pauciflora', Ecology, vol. 81, no. 5, pp. 1437-1449.
  • Holly, C, Atkin, O & Ball, M 2000, 'Acclimation of snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) leaf respiration to seasonal and diurnal variations in temperature: the importance of changes in the capacity and temperature sensitivity of respiration', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 15-26.
  • Atkin, O, Evans, J, Ball, M et al 2000, 'Leaf respiration of snow gum in the light and the dark. Interactions between temperature and irradiance', Plant Physiology, vol. 122, pp. 915-923.
  • Roden, J, Egerton, J & Ball, M 1999, 'Effect of elevated [CO2] on photosynthesis and growth of snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) during winter and spring', Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 26, pp. 37-46.