Uni-Bayreuth grafik-uni-bayreuth



Variation of plant drought tolerance in German temperate grasslands

Eunyoung Jung1, Bettina Engelbrecht1
1 Plant Ecology, University of Bayreuth

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Drought is expected to increase in its frequency and severity under conditions of climate change, which can have an impact on plant community composition and diversity. To understand how drought affects community assembly and ecosystem function, it is necessary to investigate on the responses of plant species to drought. Species’ drought tolerance can be examined by evaluating potentially relevant traits in driving the variation in species’ responses to drought. Our main objective is to identify the key traits for differential drought responses of grassland species through linking traits to a quantitative and comparative assessment of species drought responses. With that information, the role of drought for community assembly will be evaluated across land-use and environmental gradient. To address these objectives, we will perform an ex situ field experiment for 40 common species in the Biodiversity Exploratory grasslands. Plants will be planted into 72 plots in a meadow site in the Ecological Botanical Garden at the University of Bayreuth and exposed to two treatments, i.e. wet and dry treatment, with rain-out shelters. Drought tolerance of each species will be assessed as response ratios based on growth and survival. Trait analyses will include physiological, anatomical and morphological traits. Our study will contribute to understand a role of drought on functional traits composition and diversity, which can be translated into function and resilience of German temperate grasslands.  

last modified 2014-08-22