Adaptation, avoidance, or extinction: linking community ecology and ecophysiology to understand the moisture deficit effects in temperate forests

Funding: Czech Science Foundation

Principal investigator: Radim Hédl

Time-frame: 01/2021–12/2023

Project description:

Climate change has an increasing impact on the stability of terrestrial ecosystems. The aim of this project is to elucidate the mechanisms of drought effects on changes in herbaceous communities of temperate forest undergrowth. Compared to temperature increase, the moisture deficit is surprisingly understudied, despite of its crucial impact on herbaceous communities and their diversity. We will focus on long-term changes in species composition and functional diversity, which we will interpret using ecophysiological responses of selected species to moisture stress. Field monitoring of plant communities and soil moisture will be combined with an ex-situ manipulation experiment. The upscaling from the species physiology to the community level will be by applying functional traits corresponding to preadaptations to water stress.

Participants from the Institute of botany:

Markéta Chudomelová
Radim Hédl
Ondřej Vild