Alpine plants under climate change (2024-26)

Project number: 24-11954S

Alpine plants under climate change: from adaptive strategies to ecosystem functioning

Principal investigator:  Jiří Doležal

Members from LabGIS: Martin Macek, Martin Kopecký

Funding: Czech Science Foundation (GAČR)

The proposed research is focused on studying the adaptive mechanisms of alpine plants at extreme elevations between 3800 and 6200 m in understudied subtropical and tropical mountains facing unprecedented warming. The research will incorporate measuring various ecophysiological, growth, and anatomical traits, as well as root-associated microbial symbionts, to understand how these plants cope with multiple abiotic stresses and changing climatic conditions. The research will explore whether plant growth responses to climate change depend on plant traits and local biotic and abiotic conditions; whether climate warming boosted or reduced alpine plant growth over the last four decades; how productivity changes vary along elevation gradients and among contrasting plant strategies; what are the mechanisms behind diversity changes, particularly warming-induced upward plant migration, the role of sink and source limitations in the processes of colonization and range expansion, and role of biotic interactions for plant fitness and climate change mitigation.