Germination and growth strategies of alpine plant species at the limits of plant growth

Germination and growth strategies of alpine plant species at the limits of plant growth

Alpine ecosystems are considered to be particularly sensitive to climate change as they are mainly driven by temperatures and snow cover. Due to the ongoing climate change, species ranges are expected to expand. In alpine environments displacements of high altitude species by migrating lowland species were predicted. Monitoring programs (such as GLORIA) are concerned with the observation of these changes. However, also experimental approaches are needed to clarify the potential of species migration and to evaluate the survival abilities of the species beyond their present distribution ranges.

Research Questions

  • Are high altitude species able to adapt to new environmental conditions?
  • What are the most sensitive life history stages and traits constraining high altitude species ranges?
  • Do unfavourable maternal environment effects reduce offspring vigour preventing successful establishment beyond the actual distribution ranges?

Funding
Wissenschaftlich-Technische Zusammenarbeit (WTZ) Österreich-Tschechische Republik (2010-2011)

Personnel involved
Erich Schwienbacher
Jürgen Hacker
Silvia Marcante
Roland Mayer
Brigitta Erschbamer

Cooperation
Jiri Doležal, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Science, Pruhonice
Jitka Klimešová, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Science, Trebon
Miroslav Dvorsky
Zuzana Chlumská
Petr Macek

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