Plant diversity changes under climate warming 2013-17

Full name: Plant diversity changes under climate warming: from regional flora to microhabitat adaptation and diversity patterns

This project aims to continue the long-term research undertaken by Czech botanists on plant biodiversity and dynamics in arid Ladakh, West Himalayas. This is one of the world‘s most extreme environments, where vascular plants grow up to 6150 m. An extensive floristic database, based on more than 4000 plots, has been assembled over the past few years together with information on species traits, habitat preferences and evolutionary relatedness. This provides a baseline for the monitoring of plant response to climate change in this region, which has the highest recorded and predicted temperature increases. We will focus on the role of plant interactions, ecophysiology and soil phototrophs for upward plant migration in response to warming, using data from repeated vegetation sampling, climate measurement and experimental transplanting above the current distributional limits. The project will provide new insight into the determinants of plant diversity and the evolution of plant adaptations to frost and drought, thus supplying unique data for the coldest places with angiosperm plant life.

Principal investigator: Jiří Doležal

Team members from LabGIS: Martin Macek, Jan Wild